Samsung is said to be working on a smart contact lens designed to replace smart glasses by projecting images directly into users' eye thanks to a tiny display and camera.
The South Korean company filed a patent for the lens, that also contained an antenna and motion-detecting sensors back in 2014, Samsung-focused site SamMobile.com reported, though it was not known whether the patent had been approved.
Users could effectively control the camera through their own blinking patterns, and transmit the captured information back to a smartphone. The lens could be intended to act as a direct replacement for smart glasses such as Google Glass, which was withdrawn from sale in early 2015, following poor image quality issues. Google had since been working on a redesign, including versions that did not include a screen.
The advantage of a contact lens over smart glasses was that images projected directly into the eyeball via a lens would be of much higher quality than those transposed onto an external screen.
According to commentators, contact lenses represented an interesting advance in wearable technology and how it could aid the human body.
The patent had not yet been awarded to Samsung, and it was also not clear whether the concept was even possible with today's technology limitations.
The smart contact lens would also need to be powered to function, and it was not clear how that would happen.
In January 2014, Google created a prototype contact lens capable of monitoring glucose levels in its wearer's tears, though the invention is yet to hit the market. The product could do away with the need for diabetes blood tests to monitor glucose levels.
Later that year, in a patent application, Google revealed contact lenses that had embedded miniature cameras that could allow the blind to navigate hazardous routes such as crossing a road more easily, by relaying information to a paired smartphone.