Smart Contact Lenses Are Closer Than You Think

The company Mojo Vision has created a prototype for an impressive smart contact lens that is ready to head into its testing stage. These contact lenses have been in development for seven years to this point, and include the world's smallest MicroLED display at 0.5 millimeters in diameter and 14,000 pixels per inch (via Forbes). The technology is, of course, centered around eye control. Mojo Vision has created advanced eye-tracking tech, making it sensitive to every eye movement. 

Although this kind of innovation sounds like something that would be worlds away, the company's Vice President Steven Sinclair told Forbes it won't be "way out in the future." The lenses need to go through rounds of testing first within the company, as well as through the FDA. The results could be unpredictable considering how new this technology is, so there isn't a solid launch date for the contact lenses yet. 

Mojo Vision's smart contact lenses' first test

Mojo Vision has completed its first successful test on CEO, Drew Perkins, as reported by CNET. He put on the contact lens and tried out a few of the apps developed for the device. For now, the contact lens is only being used in one eye, but the company hopes to integrate a second lens to create 3D graphics. So far, Perkins has only worn the contact lens for an hour at a time. 

The next step Mojo Vision has for the lens is to test it on other company members over time. These initial tests are mainly to make sure the technology, such as the radio signal, is working. Longer wear tests haven't been conducted yet. Drew Perkins told CNET that the initial testing will help to refine the contact lenses until they can be submitted to the FDA for market approval, which will then allow it to be sold to the public. 

What do the smart contact lenses do?

Smart contact lenses use Augmented Reality (AR) technology. These typically consist of graphics, which are displayed as an overlay to reality. You may have already used this kind of technology with some of Snapchat's filters that render models onto objects or faces through the lens of the camera. Smart contact lenses would do something similar, overlaying graphics to display information about the world around you. 

Some uses for smart contact lenses might be tracking your exercise regimen, getting directions, seeing information about a store or restaurant you're looking at, and much more. This type of tech has the potential to replace smartphones, since all the functionality will essentially be touchless. Mojo Vision's smart contact lenses also include a separate accessory, which acts as the main hub for CPU processes. Since this would be too large to load into contact lenses, it'll be something like a necklace or headwear that directly communicates with the lenses using 5GHz radio frequencies.