What does it take to create the next generation of augmented-reality, live-streaming, social-broadcasting, glasses that brings all the magic of Smartphones--and then some--to a minimalist set of shades? To start, an expert nanotechnologist who specializes in wearable technology on the microscopic scale, with a knack for optics.
In 2009, Dr. Babak Parviz, the McMorrow Associate Professor of Innovation at the University of Washington, made headlines for building a prototype bionic contact lens infused with micro-circuitry.
These days, however, Dr. Parviz, is spending a good chunk of his time in Silicon Valley, as a member of Google X, Google's innovation lab (also known for self-driving cars and a computational "neural network" that can identify cats on the internet), working with none other than Sergey Brin himself.
Along with fellow X-ers, Steve Lee and Sebastian Thurn, Dr. Parviz has taken his rather extensive background in bionanotechnology and optics and applied it to Google's latest attempt to make science fiction a reality.
But his work doesn't end with Google's Project Glass. Dr. Parviz has spoken to the many potential uses of bionic contact lenses, the applications of which range from enhanced vision to gaming and virtual reality. His group has also worked on neural implants and smart bandages, and he is currently working with Microsoft Research, focusing on non-invasive blood glucose monitoring via a contact lens.
See the rest of the 2012 Creativity 50 here.