Imagine checking the weather, browsing your favorite app, or scrolling through the news with a single glance. Although they have a lot of work ahead of them, Mojo Vision is creating AR lenses that can turn that into reality.
U.S. startup Mojo Vision has been thriving on its title as a nanotechnology pioneer for several years, and has set its sights on creating the first augmented reality (AR) enabled lenses. From time to time, the company makes more information and results of its work public, wanting to convince more investors. In 2020, it was among the winners of the 2020 NASA iTech Cycle 1 award, which positions it high in the ranking of the world’s most innovative companies. The prototype lens, the Mojo Lens, may not be used for classic pattern correction, but also – and perhaps most importantly – to provide users with relevant, missing information directly in their field of vision, without having to reach for a smartphone.
Smart data should be a gateway, not a barrier. See how Mojo Lens will keep us in touch, in the moment. Learn more https://t.co/zNYamNJkEL #mojolens #invisiblecomputing #smartcontactlens #thursdaythoughts pic.twitter.com/dMr7TdcAGc-MojoVision (@MojoVisionInc) June 3, 2021
The idea is to have a lens that puts a screen directly in front of the user’s eyes that displays data that is invisible to other people. The creators are aware that the perspective of constant cluttering the visual field with additional, not necessarily needed at the moment, information does not sound encouraging. The data would be displayed to the user all the time, but only after a certain movement of the eyeballs. Motion sensors built into the lens would be a breakthrough in tracking eye movements. It is through such an incredibly accurate recording of the user’s eye movement that anyone would be able to work out how to control and navigate the data displayed on the screen.
In what instances could such lenses be useful to us? The company’s Senior Vice President of Product, Steve Sinclair says that for commercial use, it’s hard to name one key application, because as with other electronic devices, one person’s favorite application may be completely different from another’s. Still, he lists a few possible everyday applications: remembering if you’ve met someone in the past, using the lens as a virtual teleprompter, zooming in on objects, or translating conversations in real time
More conveniences could be added: measuring distances between objects, the ability to see in infrared, or even – mundane but ever-present – digital cheating on exams. Apparently, the screen could be activated even when our eyes are closed, so the vision of watching a movie without having to physically open them is becoming more and more realistic. How appealing or terrifying this vision is should be left to individual judgment.
Creating the first AR lenses is a gigantic engineering challenge and requires innovating on many fronts while ensuring the safety of potential users. The lens proposed by Mojo Vision is a scleral lens, resting on the white part of the eye that does not directly touch the cornea. In this way, care is taken to maximize the level of oxygen delivered to the eye. On its surface are a thin film, biobatteries, motion sensors, a low-power vision sensor (used for computer vision and motion detection), and a dynamic display with impressive density.
Many other companies are currently working on similar solutions in the form of AR glasses. Mojo Lens is blazing a trail in the topic of lenses, and the task is all the more difficult because, due to the coating’s direct contact with the user’s eyeball, it must obtain FDA (Food and Drug Administration) certification.
For now, a prototype is being developed, but the lenses in their originally intended form will have to wait a while longer. It is also known that the first version of Mojo Lens will focus on people with visual impairments, and all the additional features and “super powers” will be implemented gradually and it will still be a long time before the product appears on the commercial market. However, Mojo Vision’s progress is worth following, as they are undoubtedly on their way to the next technological revolution.