A California-based company Mojo Vision is planning to replace smartphones with smart contact lenses. They are stuffed with tiny circuits, batteries and one of the world’s smallest displays.
For years, specialists in technologies have discussed what the next computing platform will be. Ten years ago smartphones replaced desktop computing as our primary gateway to the internet. Now we are at a new crossroads: Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is placing his bets on the metaverse and a VR set, while Mojo Vision supposes it will be AR lenses which will allow us to see both the online and real world at once.
Bloomberg reporter Parmy Olson visited Mojo Vision's office and tried to use the new technology and check its eye-tracking technology. Users direct a small cursor by simply moving their eyes.
I could read from a digital teleprompter that displayed a series of words as I moved my eye, and I could also look around the room to see arrows pointing north and west, designed to help eventual users with navigation outdoors.
To “click” on one of the apps users should just look at a small tab next to the app for an extra second. Numbers and text appear in the upper field of view, showing the cycling speed or displaying the weather, or giving information on an upcoming flight. To close the app, a user should look away from that information for a full second.
The lens includes nine titanium batteries of the sort normally found in pacemakers and a flexible circuit narrower than a human hair providing all the power and data. A slightly convex mirror bounces light off a tiny reflector, simulating the mechanics of a telescope, which magnifies the pixels that are packed into just two microns, approximately 0.002 millimeters.
Designing a smart contact lens is not an easy task. However, the bigger question is how to balance being present in real life while constantly seeing digital information.
I can’t say how we at Mojo are going to completely mitigate that. But the trend is moving in that direction, that people are going to have instant access to information,
says Steve Sinclair, senior vice president of product and marketing.
It remains to be seen, how the technology might affect our behaviour and the way we process information from both the real world and AR.