Has Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL)(NASDAQ:GOOG) taken the wearables trend too far in teaming with Novartis (NYSE:NVS) for "smart" contact lenses? Guest host Alison Southwick put this question to Fool analysts Nathan Alderman and Tim Beyers in this episode of 1-Up On Wall Street, The Motley Fool's web show in which we talk about the big-money names behind your favorite technology, movies, toys, video games, comics, and more.
Specifically, Novartis' Alcon eye care division is licensing technology from the Google[x] laboratory that makes it possible for contact lenses to do more than merely correct vision. In one potential use case, the inserts could monitor glucose levels for diabetes patients by taking samples from tear ducts and then passing the data wirelessly to a handheld device.
Regardless of how the lenses are manifest, what matters for investors is that Google[x] is finally starting to produce technology for commercial use. International Business Machines has turned its own blue-sky research operations into a powerhouse incubator of real-world breakthroughs that, as of this writing, produce more than $1 billion in annual royalty income.
"Our dream is to use the latest technology in the miniaturization of electronics to help improve the quality of life for millions of people," Google co-founder Sergey Brin said in a press release. "We are very excited to work with Novartis to make this dream come true."
Presuming we can take Brin at his word, that means we'll see Google[x] working on more of these types of devices. Is there any place that's safe from the search star's prying eyes? Nathan and Tim have two cringeworthy ideas. Click the video to watch as Alison puts them on the spot, and then leave a comment below tell us what you think of Google's ocular ambitions. You can also follow us on Twitter for more segments and regular geek news updates!