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Micro-LED Contact Lenses Are Here, But Do They Work?

As augmented reality (AR) technology becomes more accessible and sought-after, contact lenses that display LED images may become an actual reality sooner rather than later.

One technology company, MojoVision, wants to bring the sci-fi trope to life; and the CEO has even publicly tested the ground-breaking technology himself.

“We recently announced our advanced prototype of Mojo Lens, highlighting a series of new hardware features and breakthrough technologies embedded directly into the lens — including a new and advanced display, eye tracking, communications, and software,” CEO Drew Perkins said in a blog post. “These integrate with an eye-based UI to create an AR system that can provide discreet access to the information you need throughout your day — all while letting you look like yourself.”

The Mojo Lens is a contact lens capable of powering a 0.5 millimeter display with a rather small 1.8 microns pixel-pitch. The display’s extremely small size currently limits what sort of image resolution it can support. But Mojo says that’s something that could be improved later.

“Wearing the lens was inspiring,” Perkins continued. “Seeing the future literally put me at a loss for words. As I wore the lens and thought about the different components and subsystems contained within, I was reminded that every one of our development teams achieved great success within their own disciplines. But to have optics, electronics, mechanical systems, and software all operating at the same time was an historic achievement!”

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The contact lenses have a custom-configured accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer that continuously track eye movements so AR imagery moves with the eyes

Internally, the lens communicates with a computer via a 5GHz radio. The radio waves allow data to flow back and forth, producing the imaging data. Mojo Vision says that the technology is low-latency, but they’re unsure how responsive it is, currently.

The company uses the person’s optic gaze as an “invisible computing” controller. Commands can be given by affixing the gaze at an object for a specified period of time. Many AR applications also utilize similar interfaces with XR (eXtended Reality) headsets.

“We hope to see Mojo Lens change the lives of individuals with vision impairment by improving their ability to perform daily tasks that many of us take for granted,” Perkins concluded. “I envision amateur and professional athletes wearing Mojo Lens so they can train smarter, stay focused, and reach peak performance. Ultimately, this is a tool that can give people an invisible assistant throughout their day to stay focused without losing access to the information they need to feel confident in any situation.”

So what’s next in terms of adoption from consumers? The contact lenses are a modern of technology, to be sure; but image quality, user friendliness, and the idea of a battery affixed to one’s eye ball may cause concerns. Like most technology, a great application goes a long way in introducing the hardware to wary new users. If Mojo Vision can conceive practical ways to make contact lens AR technology a reliably interesting experience (without health or safety risks to the eyes), the hardware will sell itself without question.

What do you think?

3 Comments

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    Micro-LED Contact Lenses Are Here, But Do They Work?

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