Innovation That Matters

The glasses contain miniature batteries and MicroLEDs | Photo source Aliyah Jamous on Unsplash

Contact lenses promise AR-viewing capabilities

Computing & Tech

A California company is developing a contact lens that contains the world’s smallest display screen

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Spotted: The startup Mojo Vision is hoping to leapfrog phone and glasses-based augmented reality products, by developing a screen that fits on a contact lens and which is capable of displaying 14,000 pixels per inch. The contact lenses would let users view augmented reality images right directly from their eyeballs, in a move that Mojo labels, Invisible Computing.

Unlike some cumbersome glasses, the rigid, gas-permeable lenses are all but invisible while being worn. They contain miniature batteries and MicroLEDs, which use just 10 per cent of the power of current LCD displays, and have between five and 10 times the brightness of organic light-emitting diodes, allowing them to be used for outdoor viewing.

The lenses are still in the R&D phase, but Mojo has raised $108 million (€98 million) in funding to develop a prototype. The idea is that, eventually, the contact lenses will overlay information about the real world, directly in front of the users’ eyes. Uses for the lenses could range from the mundane — flashing the name of someone who is approaching you — to the life-changing, such as helping people with low vision by providing enhanced image overlays. 

While the Mojo lenses are still a way off commercialisation, other glasses hoping to deliver an AR experience are also being developed. At Springwise, we have covered AR glasses that generate immersive experiences from a smartphone, and smart glasses that project holograms only the wearer can see.

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