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Smart Contact Lens Prototype Puts a Micro LED Display On Top of the Eye

Saturday July 2, 2022. 12:06 AM , from Slashdot
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Since 2015, a California-based company called Mojo Vision has been developing smart contact lenses. Like smart glasses, the idea is to put helpful AR graphics in front of your eyes to help accomplish daily tasks. Now, a functioning prototype brings us closer to seeing a final product. In a blog post this week, Drew Perkins, the CEO of Mojo Vision, said he was the first to have an 'on-eye demonstration of a feature-complete augmented reality smart contact lens.' In an interview with CNET, he said he's been wearing only one contact at a time for hour-long durations. Eventually, Mojo Vision would like users to be able to wear two Mojo Lens simultaneously and create 3D visual overlays, the publication said. According to his blog, the CEO could see a compass through the contact and an on-screen teleprompter with a quote written on it. He also recalled viewing a green, monochromatic image of Albert Einstein to CNET.

At the heart of the lens is an Arm M0 processor and a Micro LED display with 14,000 pixels per inch. It's just 0.02 inches (0.5 mm) in diameter with a 1.8-micron pixel pitch. Perkins claimed it's the 'smallest and densest display ever created for dynamic content.' Developing the contact overall included a focus on physics and electronics miniaturization, Perkins wrote. Mojo Lens developed its power management system with 'medical-grade micro-batteries' and a proprietary power management integrated circuit. The Mojo Lens also uses a custom-configured magnetometer (CNET noted this drives the compass Perkins saw), accelerometer, and gyroscope for tracking.
A contact lens sounds like it has the potential to be even more discreet than AR headgear posing as regular Ray-Bans. But the current prototype uses a 'relay accessory,' as Mojo Vision's rep put it, worn around the neck. It includes a processor, GPU, and 5 GHz radio for sending and receiving data to and from the lens. According to CNET, the accessory also sends information 'back to computers that track the eye movement data for research.' Perkins' blog said this tech required custom ASIC designs. The current prototype also uses a hat with an integrated antenna for easier connecting, CNET reported; though, we'd expect this to be omitted from a final product. 'There's no firm release date for the Mojo Lens, which could be the first AR contact lens to reach consumers,' adds Ars. 'Near-term goals include getting potential partners, investors, and journalists to try the smart lens.'

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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