If you’re old enough to remember the Six Million Dollar Man, or if you’re a fan of 1970s era TV shows, then you’ll remember one of the coolest things about Steve Austin was his bionic sight. Back then, such a thing was pure science fiction, but today, the possibility of a digital readout on your eyeball is a reality with Mojo Lens technology. The company has created a smart contact lens that can augment your reality.
According to a press release from Mojo, the idea behind the lenses is what they are calling “invisible computing,” which will “allow people to interact with each other more freely and genuinely” by offering a platform of instantaneous, hands-free information. The uses are endless. Fast Company posit that a firefighter might see “situational things while they are holding an axe or a hose or some other piece of equipment, and they don’t have time to pull out their phone.” Mojo Vision claims that they have created the “smallest and densest dynamic display ever made,” and they just might be right. According to the company, their smart lenses include a 14,000 pixel-per-inch display that features eye tracking, image stabilization, and a custom wireless radio. Mojo showed off their prototype at this year’s CES show. The lens works by putting the display right in the center of the lens, which is positioned over the pupil. The screen then focuses its light on the fovea, a small portion of the retina at the back of the eye where eyesight is sharpest.
Of course the question remains whether this concept will work in the real world. For starters, power comes from a small external battery pack. The same pack handles all the sensor data before sending it on to the display. Mojo remains confident, however. “We’re really confident about this working,” says Steve Sinclair, the vice president of product and marketing for Mojo. “We’re seeing all the pieces coming together into a product that does everything we want it to do.” Another big hurdle for the company to overcome is getting FDA approval—contact lenses are considered medical devices. Mojo has already taken a step in that direction by being a part of the FDA’s volunteer Breakthrough Device Program. The lenses could make huge advances in the sight prostheses market, so getting that approval is critical. Whatever the future holds, Mojo might be helping you see it better.