On Thursday, Google announced that it was developing a smart contact lens, with the hopes that it could help measure glucose levels in tears for people who suffer from diabetes. As it turns out, the origins of the device are based, at least in part, on a Microsoft Research project in collaboration with researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Microsoft posted up some details on their own contact lens product in a blog post in December 2011 and even made a video that showed off their work, as shown above. Two of the device's researchers who worked at the University of Washington, Babak Parviz and Brian Otis, later joined Google's own advanced projects lab and were listed on the company's blog post on Thursday as the co-founders of the smart contact lens device. Parvis is briefly shown in the 2011 Microsoft Research video.
GeekWire reports that, according to a statement from Google, the lens technology that Parviz and Otis developed at their company was made from scratch. However, it's fair to say they got some inspiration from their earlier collaboration with Microsoft. We have emailed Microsoft to see if they wish to comment on the links between their older research and the new Google project.