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Could smart sunglasses be replaced by smart contact lenses?

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Over the past couple of years, I’ve written dozens of times about the latest technology relating to sunglasses and prescription eyewear. So-called smart glasses or smart sunglasses have become big business, with technology giants, like Google, among the key players. Well today, I’d like to focus on what could be a key part of the long term future of smart eyewear.

Move over smart sunglasses?

In a recent WDTV news story, Dr. Clayton Kuklick, Assistant Professor of Athletic Coaching Education at WVU, was being interviewed about how he’d used Google Glass to help improve people’s performance. However, it was an observation made during the story, which caught my attention. It was said that we may be just 25 years away from having contact lenses, which have the same capabilities as today’s smart glasses / sunglasses.

Currently, smart eyewear is a little obvious. Even the most stylish frames are considerably bulkier than regular frames. Smart sunglasses are useless in the dark. Smart contact lenses would look entirely natural. Without needing to glance at your smart phone or wear smart eyewear, you’d have access to a limitless supply of data.

Think about it, you would be able to view mapping data whenever you needed it. No more walking around a strange town or city, looking like a tourist. No more getting lost. And you’d never be lost for an answer either. You could access the Internet for any answer you needed.

Is 25 years a realistic time frame?

Here’s what we know about the way technology develops: The history of technological advancement is one of quantum leaps. Cell phones were developing slowly, then the iPhone came along and within a few short years, we had smartphones that were wafer thin and contained powerful computers. History could repeat itself with smart contact lenses. If the right people get involved and there’s a public demand for the technology, we could see smart contact lenses a lot sooner than 25 years.

Smart sunglasses have a bright future

Today, many people choose regular glasses over contact lenses. I can’t see this changing. Equally, it remains to be seen if people with perfect eyesight will want to start wearing contact lenses, rather than slip on some smart glasses / sunglasses. Plus, smart glasses are becoming more and more like regular eyewear. By the time we have smart contact lenses, it’s almost certain that smart glasses will look the same as regular glasses or sunglasses.

As always, only time will tell.

And finally

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