Announced early last year, the smart contact lens is designed to act as a glucose level monitor for diabetic patients, who need to constantly monitor their blood sugar levels. Equipped with a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor, the lens would measure the glucose levels in a wearer's tears at a frequency of about once a second.
Dated June 25, 2015, the new patent application - titled " Packaging for an Active Contact Lens " - describes an "eye-mountable device" with a convex side (front) and a concave side (back), which is packaged in a container having a base and a wall:
"The wall extends from the base and defines an opening of the container. Disposed within the container is a pedestal, which has a first end attached to the base of the container and a second end opposite the first end. The eye-mountable device is mounted on the pedestal such that the posterior concave side contacts the second end of the pedestal and the eye-mountable device is elevated from the base of the container. The opening of the container can be sealed by a lidstock."
The patent application indicates that the eye-mountable device "may include a sensor apparatus configured to detect at least one analyte (e.g., glucose)." It also describes where the sensors could be mounted on the lens, as well as possible power generation methods including harvesting ambient energy from incident radio radiation, using photovoltaic cells to capture energy from incoming light, and/or using an inertial power scavenging system to capture energy from ambient vibrations.
In July of last year it was announced that drug company Novartis had joined with Google in an agreement to license and commercialize the smart contact lens technology, with a focus on using it in two areas: helping diabetic patients, and providing accommodative vision correction for conditions such as farsightedness. Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez indicated at the time that the company hoped