Wow. What once were the most fanciful sci-fi concepts of integrating digital content into our personal consciousness – almost without any physical “hardware” as we would traditional see it – is actually not that far away.
California-based startup Mojo is developing an “augmented reality” contact lens that integrates “the world’s smallest and densest micro-LED display”, along with battery, IMU, radio systems and other key elements on a PCB so tiny it folds into compound curves and sandwiches into the two lens of a typical medical-grade contact lens. The lens will communicate with a larger neck-band that houses the storage, video processing, etc.
The micro-LED display is 1/2mm across with a density of 14,000 PPI – translating into 280 pixels across the display. The display is designed for a tight 15 degree field of view and integrates with the IMU (inertial measurement unit) to precisely track the movement of the eye so a person can “look around” a broad digital field of content.
Norm from YouTube channel Adam Savage’s Tested just produced a great video talking with Mojo about the current state of their prototyping and design:
So of course, the moment you can “paint your retina with light” – combined with other technologies like LIDAR scanning and live rendering – you can turn your world into any fantasy world you want – but it won’t be a fantasy for your brain. It will become real life. With Mojo’s progress on their AR contact lens, this stunning conceptual video by Keiichi Matsuda from 2016 starts to feel a lot more real – and a bit scary:
Such a vision shows what can become of a shopping trip to a bland supermarket:
But for right now, Mojo is limited to 280 monochrome pixels. So we’re still a ways of from 4K HD injected straight into our eyes.
Some screen caps of Mojo for posterity: