Imagine living in the past, around 1900, wondering what the world would be like in 100 years. Technology, electronics, computers, and cell phones were far from being even remotely possible.
Now, imagine the future: where you can see words, numbers, and other information flowing across your screen – except no one else can see that screen – it’s visible only to you since it’s in your eye.
Too far-fetched? On the contrary. Smart contact lenses will soon be a part of our reality; you’ll be able to do much more than you’ve ever imagined.
Steve Sinclair of Mojo Vision said, “Imagine…you’re a musician with your lyrics, or your chords, in front of your eyes. Or you’re an athlete, and you have your biometrics and your distance and other information that you need.”
Mojo Vision is on the cutting edge of implementing smart contact lenses in humans. These “screens” within contacts will exhibit a heads-up display that will seemingly float in the user’s eyes. A tiny microLED display, smart sensors, and solid-state batteries will comprise the smart lenses.
Sinclair said, “We’ve built what we call a feature-complete prototype that actually works and can be worn – we’re soon going to be testing that internally. Now comes the interesting part, where we start to make optimizations for performance and power and wear it for longer periods of time to prove that we can wear it all day.”
At Columbia University, Rebecca Rojas, instructor of optometric science, says smart lenses could “include the ability to self-monitor and track intraocular pressure, or glucose. They can also provide extended-release drug-delivery options, which is beneficial in diagnosis and treatment plans. It’s exciting to see how far technology has come, and the potential it offers to improve other patients’ lives.”
Mojo’s product testing has shown that smart lenses can be worn all day without a single battery recharge. Similar to our smartphones, actual battery life will depend on how often the smart lens is used.
Rojas said, “Any type of contact lens can pose a risk to eye health, if not properly cared for or not fitted properly. Just like any other medical device, we need to make sure the patients’ health is the priority, and whatever device used has benefits that outweigh the risk. I’m concerned about non-compliance, or poor lens hygiene and over-wear. These can lead to further complications like irritation, inflammation, infections, or risks to eye health.”
Mojo’s smart lenses are expected to last for roughly a year, but he clarified that they could be programmed to detect whether they are being cleaned enough or need replacing.
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