Google Buys Into Drone Company, Patents Contact Lenses with Built-In Camera
Google is moving forward this month offering its controversial Google Glass for sale to the general public. But the tech company is also delving into a more advanced application for Glass as well as moving forward to purchase a manufacturer of unmanned drones.
The Search engine giant decided to offer its Google Glass for a one-day sale at a price of $1,500 per unit. The one-day sale will go on during tax-day, April 15.
The wearable computer has drawn criticism from privacy experts worried that the glasses will be used to take surreptitious photos of people on the streets. Several wearers of Glass have already been attacked by irate bystanders.
But Google isn't letting Google Glass stand as its last word on wearable computing devices. The company has filed a patent on contact lenses fixed with a camera.
According to one analysis, the Google patent may help a blind person see electronically.
"For example," a science website called Patent Bolt says, "a blind person wearing Google's contact lens with a built-in camera may be walking on a sidewalk and approaching an intersection."
"The analysis component of the contact lens can process the raw image data of the camera to determine processed image data indicating that the blind person is approaching intersection with a crosswalk and establish that there is a car approaching the intersection."
Google also plans to incorporate a phone into the contact lenses.
That isn't all in Google news. The company has also bought a drone manufacturing company.
On April 14 it was announced that Google acquired Titan Aerospace, a New Mexico-based company that makes unmanned aerial vehicles.
On March 27, Facebook announced that it was working on a system to bring free wireless Internet to underserved areas and unmanned drones were a large part of that idea.
Business Insider reports that Facebook was looking into buying Titan for $60 million but the deal was never completed. It is expected that Google topped that price just to keep Facebook from completing the purchase.
Confirming the purchase, a Google spokesperson said, "It's still early days, but atmospheric satellites could help bring Internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation."
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org