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Pakko De La Torre // Creative Director

Augmented Reality Contact Lenses: A Breakthrough in AR Technology

Augmented Reality Contact Lenses: A Breakthrough in AR Technology

Three decades ago, scientists at Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) tested a group of human volunteers to try something never before done. They were tested for a prototype augmented reality system that will allow users to engage with virtual objects that will be merged with the real world. The test subjects were asked to climb an exoskeleton, press their faces to a vision system, and interact manually with a blend of real and virtual objects.

This system cost almost $1 million to build but had become a resounding success. It only filled the room by half, demonstrating for the first time that AR technology works. It has been proven to enhance human performances in real-world functions. 

Earlier this month, the breakthrough was achieved in a research lab at Mojo Vision in Saratoga, California. It featured the achievements of the field over the past decades. This time, it’s about an augmented reality contact lens. The research was a genuine test of an AR contact lens that the users wear directly on the eyes.

Big in Power, Small in Space


Augmented reality contact lenses are a challenging endeavor, according to experts. People generally focus on the display technology when in fact, it is more than that. Putting a high-resolution display on a tiny, transparent lens is no small feat, but it is the most straightforward task. 

The more complicated part was making the tiny lens sit comfortably on the human eye. It also has to communicate wirelessly with the external devices without any kind of string attached. However hard it was, this was the exact result that Mojo Vision accomplished. 

Augmented Reality Contact Lenses

According to Mojo Vision, the contact lens called Mojo Lens has a 14,000 pixel-per-inch microLED display with a pixel pitch of 1.8 microns. Compared side-by-side with an iPhone 13, the Mojo Lens has 30 times its pixel density. The iPhone only has 460 pixels per inch with its Super Retina XDR Display.

Furthermore, the lens has an ARM processor, a 5GHz radio transmitter, an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and a magnetometer for eye movement monitoring. All these technologies will sit on the human eye.

But these aren’t the most intricate parts yet. The biggest challenge was how they would incorporate power into the lenses. Mojo Vision tells us that the Mojo Lens has medical-grade micro batteries. The company hasn’t given out details of the battery life yet, but they let us know that they aim to provide power management that enables users to wear the lenses throughout the day.

Augmented Reality is the Future

Indeed, this is a promising prospect but one that will take more time to be fully developed. Making it as low-cost as possible for everyone to enjoy will be a long journey, but it is where it is headed. It is predicted that AR eyewear, from glasses to contacts, will take the place of mobile phones as the main interface of digital content within the next decade. 

This also means that AR technology will impact society significantly. It will change digital assets into seamless features of our physical surroundings. The past decades have shown us that life with augmented reality will become mainstream. People will soon get fitted for new contact lenses when they sign up for a mobile subscription. 

In addition, with the way engineering is creating impressive innovations, it can be expected that AR will replace mobile phones as the new platform of our daily lives in the years to come. Currently, the prospects are still a matter of suggestions, and only time can tell.

And for other stories and news, read more here at Owner’s Mag!

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This content was originally published here.