Back in May, Sinclair showed me a screen that could display 14,000 pixels per inch, making it the smallest and densest dynamic display ever made. I saw a monochrome picture of Albert Einstein sticking his tongue out, but I still wondered why this display had enabled the company to raise $108 million in funding.
But this week, Sinclair invited me to the company’s headquarters in Saratoga, California and showed me the contact lens with the little display. I didn’t get to wear it, but I saw a prototype and demos of what you would see through the contact lens if you were wearing it. The demo showed simple green words and numbers hovering over objects in the real world. This would allow you to, for example, use an AR overlay to recall the name of someone who was approaching you.
“It’s a rigid, gas-permeable lens,” he said. “It is super comfortable because it sits on the white part of your eye.”
That’s like the hard contact lenses some people wear because they find the soft ones uncomfortable. The harder lens rests on your eye, rather than on your cornea (that is, it rests on the white part of your eye, rather than the part you see with). Mojo Vision plans to tailor each contact lens to fit the wearer’s eyes.
Mojo Vision holds patents for the development of an augmented reality (AR) smart contact lens dating back more than a decade.
When the product goes into production, you will visit your optometrist to get your eyes measured and then Mojo Vision will cut the lens to fit the shape of your eyes.
“Eventually, the lens will have motion sensors like accelerometers and magnetometers so that we can do eye-tracking on the eye, figuring out what you are looking at,” he said. “We require orders of magnitude less power. The goal is to get this to one milliwatt of power.”
If anything, hard contact lenses are less comfortable than soft lenses, not more.