• January 23

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Smart Contact Lenses

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In fictional dystopian settings, such as in Black Mirror, humanity has adopted a “smart contact lense.” Memories are recorded and stored automatically, and a person’s vision can be altered through programing. The boundaries that our culture cling to- such as privacy and a right to honesty- are lost to such a technology. Every episode of Black Mirror is a statement that warns our society of it’s own vices, and yet technology-driven corporations ignore the warning and we have our own tangible- not just theoretical- smart contact lenses.

 

Tech giants like Sony, Google, and Samsung are all racing to develop such a lense. According to Mike Elgan, a Columnist for Computerworld, these contacts will provide “super-human vision… heads-up displays, video cameras, medical sensors, and much more.” If you listen closely, you can hear Squidward bowing down and chanting “FUTURE.”

 

While, inarguably, these qualities are desirable in our technology, there are many facets to manipulate the lenses and those who wear them. The most definite issue would be a complete disregard for a person’s privacy. This is no surprise- we all know that the FBI watches us through our phone and computer cameras, that they record the details from face recognition using Snapchat filters. With this device in your eyeball, the FBI, maybe Google, can see everything you see, everything you do- there is NO privacy. On the bright side, the government may have a better handle on crime when they can match the DNA on the inside of the lense to the video footage of their criminal act. But that would be far in the future when the contacts become a wide-spread everyday item. At the point of their release, they will be only for those who have the extra spending money, and it will be fun. And while everyone is having fun and sharing videos of their experience, while society embraces and seeks the experience these contacts give, the product will grow in popularity and manufacturing. These contacts will become a “necessity,” like a cell phone, and, in time, it would be in everyone’s eyes. Then, the idea of a display within your vision brings the concern that the company running the program could project anything they want their customers to see. This could be scarring images or even propaganda. Smart contact lenses are a danger to our culture. While we are all already controlled by our technology and nearly mindless, we will, with such contacts, release any grip on our attention span and intelligence.

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Smart Contact Lenses