External power supply for Google contact lens

Power efficiency in wearables is key to continuous, accurate monitoring, for both medical and fitness applications.

Google has filed a patent application suggesting  that an external device will power the sensor of its contact lens, and it could be handheld or embedded into a companion wearable.

The application states that “an external reader device or ‘reader’ can radiate radio frequency radiation to power the sensor. The reader may thereby control the operation of the sensing platform by controlling the supply of power to the sensing platform. In some examples, the reader can operate to intermittently interrogate the sensing platform to provide a reading by radiating sufficient radiation to power the sensing platform to obtain a measurement and communicate the result. The reader can also store the sensor results communicated by the sensing platform. In this way, the reader can acquire a series of analyte concentration measurements over time without continuously powering the sensing platform. The reader could also be built into eyeglasses, jewelry headband, head cover , earpiece, [or] other clothing so that it could continually power the lens.”

Le Temps reports that Novartis and Google plan to start testing their smart contact lens for people with presbyopia in 2016.