With augmented reality contact lenses just a hop and a skip away, the era of having a digitally rendered face isn’t too far off.
Google Glass is now old news. In January, Google announced it was working on a product even more closely melded with the human body: Smart contact lenses that contain a chip to measure glucose levels in diabetics’ tears.
Google engineers aren’t the only ones working on fusing wearable tech to skin. And no longer is it such a crazy, far-off fantasy that the human form will feature elements of the cybernetic–that these contact lenses could project augmented realities onto our physical world. But what does this mean for the future of, well, faces?
Futurist designer Jenny Lee has created a series of “digital skins” that she imagines might grace our lowly, animal mugs in the year 2060. The idea, she explains, comes from Babak Parviz, one of the brains behind Google’s smart lens project. As a University of Washington nanotechnology expert, Parviz and his colleagues advanced the idea of a solar or radio frequency-powered augmented reality contact lens as early as 2008. But while Parviz has since said that augmented reality isn’t an “immediate goal” for Google, he’s also said he expects it to “come into the picture.”