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Alphabet's autofocusing contact lens won't be tested in 2016

Novartis doesn't know when the partnership will be ready to start human tests.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
November 20, 2016
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Bad news if you were hoping that Google's (now Alphabet's) smart contact lenses would be available relatively soon: they're running into some hurdles. Novartis, which is partnering with Alphabet's Verily Life Sciences on an autofocusing lens that addresses farsightedness, says it won't make its goal of testing the technology in 2016. It's "too early to say" when trials would start, a spokeswoman explains to Reuters. It's also uncertain when tests for the other lens, which monitors blood sugar levels, would likely begin.

According to Novartis, the setback is due to a "very technically complex process" where both companies are "learning as [they] go along." That's not totally surprising. Both lenses were were considered long-term bets on the future of health care, and there was no guarantee that they'd be ready all that quickly. The question is whether the hurdles are relatively modest, or if these smart contact lenses are still years away from reaching your eyes.

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