With Gear VR, Samsung was one of the first companies to get its foot in the virtual reality door. Now, it looks like the South Korean electronics giant is experimenting with augmented reality.
Samsung has received a patent for “smart” contact lenses, which it originally filed in September 2014. The lenses will house a camera, movement sensors, a transmitter and a display unit, according to Softpedia.
The eyepieces will work in conjunction with a smartphone, with commands made through the lenses by blinking, then sent to the paired phone for processing. Photos and videos can also be sent from a smartphone for viewing through the lenses.
Virtual reality, which transports the user to a new world, has become mainstream in 2016 with the release of the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, but augmented reality, which provides information, graphics and objects overlaid on your actual field of vision, has yet to take off in the same way.
Samsung is far from the only one working on AR, of course. A prototype version of Microsoft’s HololensAR headset is available for developers, and Google has been dabbling with augmented reality for years — most notably with its Google Glass project.
Google is also known to be experimenting with smart contact lenses, though its reported partnershipwith Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis looks to yield more of a health-focused product.
Samsung filed for the patent back in September of 2014, though it was only accepted in the last week. The company was contacted for comment but did not respond immediately.