Sony developing Black Mirror-like recording contact lens

3 May 2016

Sony appears to be getting ideas from the cult satirical science-fiction show Black Mirror as it’s revealed the company is working on a smart contact lens capable of recording what you see.

For those unfamiliar with the famous Black Mirror episode entitled The Entire History of You, the characters in the show are implemented with a device that allows them to record what they see day-to-day and watch it back later, for whatever reason.

Now, it seems that the dystopian concept could one day make the transition to reality as Cnet reveals it’s come across a patent online that shows Sony is developing a device with the aim of providing a “contact lens and storage medium capable of controlling an image pickup unit provided in the contact lens”.

Awarded to the company in April by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the description of the device goes on to reveal that the intention would be that the wearer could begin recording footage at their request using a series of blinks.

Recording contact lens

The Sony-patented contact lens. Image via USPTO

Example of micropower future

Of course, the obvious issue here would be the fact that, as humans, we blink quite frequently to keep our eyeballs moistened, but Sony’s smart contact lens would include sensors that would be capable of detecting when the user has blinked deliberately, rather than naturally.

The technology used to store and record the footage seen by the person would be located around the iris of the eye, with the device being powered by piezoelectric energy.

This way of generating electricity uses motions that occur in the eye to power the device, something which was discussed at length previously on as part of the future of micropower, which will power a number of devices within the human body in the years to come.

Where Sony takes this concept from here remains to be seen as there appears to be much basis for the rollout of such advanced and comfortable electronics out there at the moment, but the past years have shown that a considerable amount of time is being invested into developing devices that can be placed on the human eye.

Eye close-up image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic