Science fiction has again become science fact as Mojo Vision, a stealthy Silicon Valley startup that’s raised over $100 million dollars, revealed this morning that it is making an XR contact lens, The Mojo Lens. The company hopes that its wearable XR contact lens will become an all-day-every-day method of doing ubiquitous, invisible, visual computing. Today the company also announced it is doing a pilot with Vista Vision Center of Palo Alto which will be the first to use its technology. The first application will be helping sight impaired people navigate low light situations.
Mojo Vision was founded in 2015 by serial entrepreneur CEO Drew Perkins, CTO Mike Wiemer, Chief Science Officer Michael Deering, and a team of Silicon Valley veterans from companies including Apple, Google, and Microsoft. “Mojo Vision is the Invisible Computing company, dedicated to developing products and platforms that re-imagine the intersection of ideas, information, and people. Instead of being tethered to devices that are increasingly a distraction in many aspects of our lives,” said Perkins in a statement.
In the two demos we did in a private suite at CES, we saw how Mojo Lens could detect walls, edges, and furniture to help the vision-impaired navigate safely in darkness. We also saw how normal users could use gaze detection as an interface for the XR lenses.
Were it not for the bronze filament running from edge to center of the tiny contact lens, it appears to be completely normal otherwise, though it is the window through which mankind will augment its surroundings. At least until there are implants.
Also worth noting is that the Mojo Lens works even with eyes closed, thus turning from a see-through display to a fully occluded VR display. Interestingly, the science-fiction Netflix series Altered Carbon envisioned XR as everyday contact lenses. It’s set more than four hundred years in the future.
“I found a great problem to solve that would really matter,” said co-founder and CTO Mike Wiemer when we asked what drove him to tackle a miniaturization problem of this complexity. The company plans to develop its technology while working on practical applications with health care, defense, and other verticals. While it may take a decade or more before you’re wearing a Mojo Lens casually, the company has illustrated it is possible, which is a major breakthrough and an entirely new approach to XR.
“Mojo Vision is taking on a big challenge,” Perkins told Venturebeat last year. “To rethink how people receive and share information in a way that is immediate and relevant, without diverting their attention,”