Can we shrink the computer down to the size of a contact lens? Minuscule smart lenses are a common sci-fi tool, even appearing in “serious” movies like The Batman.
However, it looks like smart lenses are no longer stuck in fiction. In fact, the technology is about to start its first round of human testing.
Are smart lenses starting human testing?
Revealed in an article by CNET, also the source of this article’s image, technology startup Mojo has started human tests of its smart contact lenses. The company is so confident with its technology that tests are starting with its CEO: Drew Perkins.
During a Zoom call with the CNET journalist, Perkins was wearing the contact lens. The Len’s is simple: a minuscule screen wrapped around eye contacts with even smaller processors attached. There are also a number of sensors including accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer.
In order for the miniature computer to be capable of anything, the user has to wear a processor on their neck. This processor generates all of the difficult computing for the lens and transfers it to the eye-screen.
During the call, Perkins tested some of the apps that were previously demoed before in-eye tests began. This includes a teleprompter, an image of Albert Einstein and a working compass. While basic, these projects are technically cutting edge for this technology.
“We've now taken that first step. And it's very exciting,” Perkins said. “With this advancement, we now have a testing platform that helps us refine and build Mojo Lens that will ultimately lead to submission to the FDA for market approval.”
How far away are commercial versions?
Mojo CEO Drew Perkins would like commercial versions of the company’s smart lenses to be available by the end of this year. However, the CEO is aware that testing has a long way to go.
Currently, Perkins is only intermittently using a single lens. However, the plan is for users to be able to use two lenses simultaneously in order to have full control over a 3D interface. The user should also be comfortable using the technology all day if needed.
By the end of 2022, tests for the Mojo Lenses will be conducted by those outside of the company. Journalists, fitness influencers and more could all be targeted for testing. After all, the company needs to know exactly what the device is most useful for.