UW Researchers Invent a Contact Lens That Communicates with Smartphones Over Wi-Fi
The researchers at the University of Washington (UW) have come up with a contact lens that can connect to a smartphone over Wi-Fi. This amazing invention is credited to Shyam Gollakota, an assistant professor at the UW. So how do you invent a contact lens, that has no battery, to not only power itself but also send signals over Wi-Fi? Of course, you will recycle signals from Wi-Fi or broadcast stations (radio/TV). Duh! Why didn’t I think of that. Okay, I am being facetious. I have no idea how the professor came up with this idea. According to MIT Technology Review:
“Gollakota and his grad students built their Wi-Fi contact lens to demonstrate the potential for their technology, known as backscatter, to improve medical devices, whether cheap sensors or more complex implants. They also built a flexible skin patch that can sense temperature and respiration, a design that could be used to monitor hospital patients.”
The inventor has already co-founded a company and is talking to a pharmaceutical company about adding this communication functionality to everyday disposable medical devices. Can you say “Internet of Disposable Things”?
Check out the MIT Technology Review’s article for more details. You will also find Shyam Gallokota’s video there in which he talks about Ambient Backscatter and has some very interesting demos.
Shyam’s presentation is less than 14 minutes but it’s absolutely fascinating. You will love it.
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