(Pocket-lint) - Google is working with Swiss drug maker Novartis to create smart contact lenses. The eye worn devices will be able to detect a user's health or autofocus a person's vision.
The first contact lens will be for diabetics. It will be able to measure glucose levels from the tear fluid in the eye and wirelessly transmit the data to a mobile. This will be a huge jump forward for diabetics who currently have to prick their finger for a blood reading as many as ten times a day.
The other lens will be for people who have trouble focusing. Much like a camera's autofocus this will allow wearers to see more clearly where they would otherwise struggle to focus.
The lenses will be equipped with non-invasive sensors, microchips and other minaturised electronics – all of which are presumably mainly translucent. The lenses are being developed by Google's Project X team, the same department that developed Google Glass.
How much money was involved in this deal wasn't clear but the blood-sugar tracking market alone is estimated to be worth more than $12 billion by 2017.
Novartis Chief Executive Joe Jimenez said he hoped that a product could be on the market in about five years. He also said: "I think you're going to see more and more areas of unmet medical need where companies like Novartis are going to take a non-traditional approach to addressing those needs."