California startup Mojo Vision finally has a human being wearing its smart contact lens — bringing the future of AR, and superhuman sight, a major step closer.
Augmenting reality: Unlike VR, which replaces your view of the real world with all digital graphics, augmented reality (AR) places digital images on top of a real world display.
AR lets you interact more seamlessly with technology — you can read a text without having to take out your phone, or see directions appear in front of your eyes as you navigate a new city.
The challenge: AR glasses aren’t for everyone, though.
While they’re generally sleeker than VR headsets, some people still find them bulky and uncomfortable to wear. Others might simply not like the way they look in any glasses, or do sports and other activities that aren’t glasses-friendly.
Smart contact lens: In 2015, Mojo Vision launched with the goal of developing a smart contact lens that would allow wearers to see digital information right in front of their face — like AR glasses — but with the convenience of contacts.
It doesn’t plan to stop there, though — the company ultimately wants to use its Mojo Lens to give people superhuman powers, such as the ability to zoom in on distant objects or see clearly at night.
What’s new? The company has unveiled several prototypes of its tech since then, but it wasn’t until June 28 that CEO Drew Perkins revealed in a blog post that Mojo Vision had finally put its smart contact lens on someone’s eye: his own.
“After completing preclinical testing and mitigating potential safety risks, I wore Mojo Lens,” he wrote. “Much to my delight, I found I could interact with a compass to find my bearings, view images, and use an on-screen teleprompter.”
“Wearing the lens was inspiring,” he added. “Seeing the future literally put me at a loss for words.”
Looking ahead: The latest prototype of the Mojo Lens, unveiled in March, looks like a combination of a traditional contact lens and a microchip.
Packed into the tiny piece of tech is the smallest and densest dynamic display in the world, as well as an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and a magnetometer. There’s eye-tracking tech, medical-grade micro batteries, and custom communications chips.
As Perkins noted, this smart contact lens really is what we think of when we imagine futuristic technology, and Mojo Vision is now ready to conduct the clinical trials needed to secure FDA approval for the tech — and ultimately, give you super vision.
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