This AR contact lens startup hopes to ‘give your eyes superpowers’

AR/VR headsets and glasses are becoming more impressive and more accessible to the everyday consumer by the year. But now the technology may be making its way into contact lenses thanks to a startup called Mojo Vision.

Mojo Vision contact lens
Mojo Vision is developing AR contact lenses. Photo: Mojo Vision

Augmented reality is one of the staple technologies shown off in any good sci-fi film. It’s something inventors and scientists have dreamed about for decades. Now we’ve finally got to the stage where AR headsets are more than just a gimmick.

The real holy grail of augmented reality has always been integration into the eye itself. Without invasive surgery, the only viable option without using glasses is contact lenses.

But integration of AR capabilities into a contact lens is very tricky without the smallest components.

Now, a startup called Mojo Vision is confident that is can create the very first working AR contact lenses, which it says will “give your eyes superpowers”.

Making contact lenses AR-capable

Contact lenses are very tricky to fit any sort electrical components inside. Not only are they small and thin, they also have to be translucent so that the wearer can see clearly through them.

This is a daunting combination of hurdles to overcome for any company, let alone a startup.

But Mojo Vision is confident in its technical abilities and the technology it has been working on to make AR contact lenses a reality.

The key component which enables the concept of an AR contact lens to work in the first place is the tiny, grain of sand-sized display Mojo Vision has developed.

Mojo contact lens screen
The display on the Mojo Vision contact lens is less than half a milimeter across. Photo: Mojo Vision

The company has designed its contact lenses with simple information display in mind, as opposed to complex graphics you can see in many modern AR glasses. Information such as weather conditions, traffic data or various other notifications could be quickly and effectively shown to the user as they go about their daily lives.

As reported by Fast Company, the display manages to fit 70,000 pixels into a component which is less than half a millimeter across. As the display is so small, it does not affect visibility through the contact lens.

Mojo Vision refers to the technology used in its contact lenses as “Invisible Computing”, which offers “a display that never gets in the way.”

The display focuses on the center of the user’s retina, where vision is most detailed. As for charging the contact lenses, Mojo Vision says they would be recharged in a small case, and may eventually get wireless charging capabilities.

How long will we have to wait to buy our own pair of AR contact lenses?

The company has been working on this project since 2015 and, unfortunately, it’s not quite ready for market just yet.

The technology Mojo Vision has developed isn’t ready for working examples of its AR contact lenses. Currently the company is showing off its concept using AR glasses, which represent what users would see when wearing a working final version of the contact lenses.

Mojo Vision contact lens
The Mojo Vision contact lens is still in development. Photo: Mojo Vision

Security concerns

Mojo Vision’s contact lenses will be equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity, which has raised some questions in relation to data privacy.

While Mojo Vision has admitted that the contact lenses will record information about the people the wearer interacts with, such as their faces, it also acknowledges that it is its own responsibility to ensure user data remains safe,

Mojo Vision provided Abundary with some additional information regarding the specific data protocols the contact lenses will use.

“Between the Mojo accessory and Mojo Lens, we have a proprietary communication protocol that is very low latency and low power and that link will also be encrypted in later versions,” said Steve Sinclair, Mojo’s SVP of product marketing.

With encryption, it seems Mojo Vision is confident it can protect again data breeches, at least when it comes to data transferred between the contact lenses and the Mojo accessory.

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