"L" Is For Life Sciences: Smart Contacts Graduate From X Labs

Here's another one to add to the Alphabet noodle soup. We've only really heard about Google's plans to put some smarts into contact lenses last year. But according to Google co-founder and now Alphabet president Sergey Brin, they have been hard at work at it for three years under the Google X umbrella. Now, however, with the shuffling of brands and people, the smart contact lens is ready to graduate from experimental status into a new Life Sciences company of its own under the Alphabet mothership.

The smart contact lens was one of Google's stranger moonshot project. Even Brin expressed pleasant surprise at how much potential and traction it gained in a market where Google didn't have much clout. It would eventually attract the attention of healthcare company Novartis, who licensed the technology from Google to turn the experiment into an actual product.

The smart contacts are more than just a fancy wearable. It integrates minuscule components that not only monitor glucose but convey that data wireless to a connected smart device. The goal is to make monitoring sugar levels less intrusive than they are right now, which requires drawing some blood. Brin describes this as making healthcare more proactive and has indeed been a recent push in R&D.

The new Life Sciences company will be headed by Andy Conrad as CEO. Naturally, there will be a bit of organizational restructuring but in practice, the goal of the new company remains the same, to marry healthcare and technology. While the new company will, of course be doing R&D, they will also be collaborating with other life sciences companies to turn those ideas into marketable products when possible.

For now, it seem that the smart contact lens is still the primary focus, but with their new independence, Alphabet's Life Sciences might have some new ideas to throw around in the near future.

SOURCE: +Sergey Brin