Mojo Vision: AR contact lens begins user testing
Mojo Vision first tests its technical contact lens, the Mojo Lens, internally and with selected individuals, then conducts medical testing as the next step. The big goal is FDA clearance.
If you're not familiar with Mojo Vision, you can read all about the company and its current prototype Mojo Lens here.
In short, the technical lens has miniature batteries, a microdisplay and motion sensors built in. This enables it to display digital information directly in the eye. It is controlled by eye tracking, among other things. A computer worn around the neck with proprietary radio technology serves as the input device for transmission with the lowest possible latency and interference.
Mojo Vision plans to market the contact lens first for medical applications and then for special use scenarios such as sports and navigation.
Drew Perkins has something in his eye
On the road to market, the team is now beginning internal testing: first, CEO Drew Perkins wears the feature-complete prototype regularly for about an hour. Testing will begin with one lens; in the future, two lenses in both eyes could provide a 3D view.
Perkins said his initial tests involve using a compass for orientation, looking at images and reading from a digital teleprompter.
According to Perkins, other managers at the startup will regularly test the lens in the future. The first goal, he said, is to test basic features such as a stable wireless connection. Then, starting at the end of the year, people outside the company will test the lens, such as interested athletes, journalists and investors.
The latter are especially important, because Mojo Vision needs additional funding to actually bring the ambitious product to market. Founded in 2015, the startup currently employs around 100 people and has funding of $205 million - not a lot of money for inventing entirely new and sophisticated technology.
FDA approval is the next big milestone
Perkins describes the tests now underway as a milestone on the road to FDA approval. This in turn is a prerequisite for the first product for medical use and niche scenarios such as top-level sports.
"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. To accomplish this, we will conduct several clinical studies to test capabilities and provide feedback on software and apps," Perkins writes in the company blog.
He does not give a specific timeline for FDA approval. The startup most recently gave a time frame of five years until the first product.