Mojo Vision pivots to MicroLED after failed AR contact lens investor search
Mojo Vision has been researching AR contact lenses for many years. In the future, the company wants to focus on MicroLED.
For more than a decade, Mojo Vision worked on the Mojo Lens AR contact lens for the medical sector and, in perspective, everyday use. Along the way, it introduced several prototypes that had already been tested by users. Mojo Vision was aiming for market readiness around 2025.
Mojo Vision fails to find investors
Now Mojo Vision has announced a change in strategy: In the future, it will focus on commercializing the MicroLED technology developed for the lens, which it sees as having "significant near-term market potential." Work on the contact lens is to be "decelerated".
For the contact lens, Mojo Vision developed a display the size of a grain of sand with a pixel density of 14K. Drew Perkins, CEO of Mojo Vision, believes MicroLED will "disrupt the entire $160B display industry," and sees Mojo Vision's technology as ahead of the curve. It could be used for applications such as next-generation headsets, advanced televisions and video walls, he said. MicroLED is considered a future technology for VR and AR that is still difficult to manufacture.
Mojo Vision cites a lack of investors in an overall difficult economic environment as the reason for the change in strategy. "The slumping global economy, extremely tight capital markets, and the yet-to-be proven market potential for advanced AR products have all contributed to a situation where Mojo Vision has been unable to find additional private funding to continue its development of Mojo Lens," said Mojo Vision CEO Drew Perkins.
The missed financing round and the focus on MicroLED has structural consequences: Mojo Vision is laying off 75 percent of its employees across all departments.
Too big a project with too little money
Mojo Vision marketing chief Steve Sinclair talked about needing additional funding as early as last summer. At that time, the company had around 110 employees and capital of around $205 million - too little for a project of this size.
In the consumer market, the lens would have required a computer worn on the body as a player, and it would have had to be custom-made for each customer, increasing the cost and complexity of distribution.
Still, Perkins is proud of the technology developed to date, saying Mojo Lens is a "monumental technical and medical achievement that others have only dreamed of." Mojo Vision's vision of "invisible computing" is only on hold, he said.
"We strongly believe that there will be a future market for Mojo Lens and expect to accelerate it when the time is right," Perkins said.