Sony just patented contact lenses that record what you see

The future is dark and going to be full of creeps.

Meryl D'Souza February 15, 2017

The third episode in the first season of Black Mirror is called “The Entire History Of You”. The episode is based on the premise that in the future humans will need to have a “grain” planted behind their ear. 

This grain records everything people do, see and hear. It even allows them to playback all their recorded memories, either in front of their eyes or project them on a wall for everyone to see. Sounds great so far, right? Who wouldn’t want to relive their happiest memories? 

The episode revolves around a paranoid lawyer who is convinced his wife is cheating on him with her ex after the three meet at a common friend’s house for dinner. From there on, the show naturally progresses into a darker world where the lawyer holds his wife accountable by demanding she show him all her memories. 

You may sit there thinking: this is fiction. There’s no way we’re at that level of technology yet. Well, Sony is here to prove you wrong. Remember when the world through the Google Glass and Snapchat’s Spectacles would breach privacy, well earlier this month, Sony filed a patent for intelligent contact lenses capable of recording and playing video - all with the blink of an eye.

Some of you may know that earlier this month Samsung patented smart lenses too but here’s what makes Sony’s vision much better: Samsung’s contact lenses rely on your smartphone for storage whereas Sony’s patented lenses come with a camera, storage and wireless processing unit.

How would the lenses work?

Sony’s smart contact lenses are said to come with sensors capable of distinguishing between voluntary movements from accidental blinking. 'It is known that a time period of usual blinking is usually 0.2 seconds to 0.4 seconds, and therefore it can be said that, in the case where the time period of blinking exceeds 0.5 seconds, the blinking is conscious blinking,' the patent application reads. 

The working theory is that users could switch the camera mode on and off by closing their eyelids on purpose. Every user blink while recording would result in a black screen that can be deleted later on.

Video playback would use a predetermined movement of the eyelids that are different from the blink required to activate or deactivate other functions like taking pictures, correcting blurry images, managing autofocus and zooming and aperture controls.