Verily, the Alphabet company formerly known as Google Life Sciences, has been working for several years on a device that is designed to collect blood painlessly using a system of exploding micro-needles and magnets.
The Silicon Valley team, which is run by Verily's chief technical officer Brian Otis, has gone as far as to produce a working prototype. It's exploring several possible form factors for the device, including a watch. The needles would "explode" into the wearer's skin, then the magnets would retract them for future uses.
Several sources aware of the company's plans say the device is still many years away from production and faces significant scientific, technical and regulatory hurdles. These people described it as a long-term project akin to other so-called "moonshots" that Alphabet is working on.