By Ken Perrott 05/05/2016


A few decades ago I taught photography to night classes. We had no idea then that it would not be long before almost everyone would be carrying around a small camera in the form of a mobile phone. I couldn’t even get students interested in the concept of digitising their photos and processing or storing them on their computers.

It’s hard to predict the paths of new technology or its uptake by industry and the population. But I wonder if this new patent by Sony might give some insight to how we well take photographs in a few decades time. Just imagine – all it may take is to blink!

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A future contact lens camera – from a patent by Sony

The article ‘Sony patents contact lens camera with blink-triggered shutter’ from Digital Photography Review predicts privacy problems if the technology goes ahead.

The patented contact lens:

“comes with an integrated miniature camera module and all its components, such as image sensor, lens, processor, storage and even a wireless module to transfer images to a smartphone or other connected device. The camera is triggered by a “conscious” eyelid aperture and closure. A sensor measures the pressure of your eyelid, and other settings such as aperture and zoom can be controlled via eyelid movement as well. A display unit allows you to view captured images directly on the lens.”

So not any old blink will fire the shutter. Even so, I imagine there will be lots of accidental shots. And I have a picture of newbies pulling all sorts of facial expressions as they learn to apply just the right sort of pressure via their eyelid. Then there will be subjects who interpret the “conscious” blink as a wink!

As the article says:

“It’s impossible to know if a product like this will ever hit the market but if it does, it’s certain to raise even more privacy concerns than Google Glass at the time.”

The patent document is available here for anyone who enjoys torturing themselves with the convoluted language which seems unique to patents.

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Featured image: CC flickr n4i