At our last team building event, we were asked to describe the world in 20 years. It was amazing how many of my colleagues wrote the phrase “smart contact lenses” in their description of the future.
It now appears that this fringe technology is closer to reality than previously thought. The idea of a smart wearable device is not new, not at all. We’ve read about smart tattoos, smart body stickers, smart clothes, and even had our first try at the concept of smart glasses with Google Glass.
An interesting concept has the potential to take our communication skills to a whole new level. Smart contact lenses have been in labs around the world for quite some time, but now it looks like the technology is reaching a tipping point and consumer products aren’t too far off.
Earlier this year, at CES 2022, MojoVision announced a partnership with Adidas to bring the first smart contact lenses to the masses. MojoVision’s prototype is called Mojo Lens and uses a tiny microLED screen the size of a grain of sand.
This hard lens can display various types of information overlaying maps, running routes and useful data on different objects in our world. It looks and sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but apparently MojoVision is now looking for volunteers to test its smart contact lenses.
InWith flexible contacts
At CES 2022, one company took their dreams of smart contacts one step further. InWith Corp. announced the first soft and smart contact lenses, as well as its vision for the coming metaverse and the role of wearable technology in it.“Our patented platform enables a multiverse of applications within a single contact lens, from XR to adjustable focus to biosensors, these are just a few examples,” boldly reads one of the PR materials on InWith’s official website.
These flexible smart contact lenses will also feature an autofocus mechanism, eliminating the need for different types of glasses or conventional contacts for people with vision problems. InWith also sees its creation first implemented in an augmented reality scenario.
“You might see things like, What’s the speed limit on this road? Which direction am I going? Where’s the next exit and how many miles away?” said company CEO Micheal Hayes in a interview with CNET.
Google, Samsung and Sony
Global Market Vision has recently added a new report on global smart contact lens marketwhich is an in-depth study providing comprehensive analysis of the industry for the period 2020 to 2027.
According to the report, the key players in the smart contact lens market will be Google, Samsung, and Sony. Google has been working on smart contacts for years. The company announced the Google contact lens in 2014 as a project to help people with diabetes track their blood sugar.
When will smart contact lenses finally arrive?
It’s a little hard to judge but it won’t be in 20 years (with all due respect to my colleagues and their futurological predictions). Market analysts say we are already in a race between tech giants to bring ready-to-use smart contact lenses to the world.
The only thing holding back progress is the technology itself – making batteries small enough and safe enough to put near your eyes, developing low-power displays and means of communication, chips small enough to fit in a contact lens, etc.
But we’re already starting to see the first prototypes, and when the first real product hits shelves, we could see exponential growth in models and availability of these smart devices.
What do you think of the concept? Would you put something like this in your eye? I can’t wear contact lenses, so this technology is out of reach for me, so I’ll have to stick with smart glasses.
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