Mojo Vision Is Developing a New Type of Smart Contact Lens

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SARATOGA, Calif.—Mojo Vision, a Silicon Valley-based startup, announced last week that it is building a new type of smart contact lens called Mojo Lens. The company describes Mojo Lens as “a contact lens with a built-in display that gives people the useful and timely information they want without forcing them to look down at a screen or losing focus on the people and the world around them.” Mojo calls this eyes-up experience “Invisible Computing, a platform that enables information to be instantaneous, unobtrusive and available hands-free, and will allow people to interact with each other more freely and genuinely.”

The company, which is headquartered here, has been researching and developing its groundbreaking technology and holds patents critical to the development of an augmented reality (AR) smart contact lens dating back over 10 years. The company is currently demonstrating a working prototype of the device. Mojo is conducting feasibility clinical studies for R&D iteration purposes under an Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval. The Mojo Lens is currently in the research and development phase and is not available for sale anywhere in the world.

Mojo Vision said Mojo Lens is designed to be useful in many different situations, from consumer to enterprise. Additionally, the company is planning an early application of the product designed to help people struggling with low vision through enhanced image overlays. This application of the Mojo Lens is designed to provide real-time contrast and lighting enhancements as well as zoom functionality. With its inconspicuous contact lens form factor, Mojo Lens is designed to serve as a low vision aid that could remain discreet for the wearer and allow a hands-free experience, while delivering enhanced functional vision to assist in mobility, reading, and sighting.

In businesses and organizations, the Mojo Lens is being designed to give workers or specialists access to real-time information, greatly improving productivity, precision, and compliance without having to look down at a mobile device or through an awkward, vision-blocking headset that limits situational awareness or discourages social interactions.

“After extensive research, development, and testing, we are excited to reveal our product plans and begin sharing details about this transformative platform,” said Drew Perkins, CEO at Mojo Vision. “Mojo has a vision for Invisible Computing where you have the information you want when you want it and are not bombarded or distracted by data when you don't. The technology should be helpful, and it should be available in the moment and fade away when you want to focus on the world around you.

“The Mojo Lens is the first step in delivering Invisible Computing to the world. We look forward to sharing more information and demonstrating future prototypes as we get closer to bringing our product to market,” continued Perkins.

Mojo also announced that it is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through its Breakthrough Device Program, a voluntary program designed to provide safe and timely access to medical devices that can help treat irreversibly debilitating diseases or conditions. By receiving Breakthrough Device designation for the development of the Mojo Lens, Mojo will work directly with FDA experts to get feedback, prioritize reviews, and develop a final product that meets or exceeds safety regulations and standards.

Mojo Vision also announced a new partnership with Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based nonprofit which offers rehabilitation services to more than 3,000 children and adults with blindness or impaired vision each year. Through the partnership, Vista Center clients will play a direct role in defining Mojo’s innovative technology and providing input to the company’s team of scientists and engineers. In turn, Mojo will be able to deliver better, more user-friendly devices to market, contribute to vision rehabilitation, and improve the quality of life for Vista Center clients and others with similar needs.

Mojo Vision so far has raised over $100M in investments from NEA, Shanda Group, Khosla Ventures, Advantech, Gradient Ventures, HP Tech Ventures, Motorola Solutions, LG Electronics, Liberty Global, Fusion Fund, and others. The company was co-founded by CEO Drew Perkins, CTO Mike Wiemer, and Chief Science Officer Michael Deering, and is led by a team of Silicon Valley veterans from companies including Apple, Amazon, Google, HP, Microsoft, Motorola, Infinera, Agilent, and Marvell, among others, as well as medical device and optometry experts from companies including CooperVision, Abbott, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, Philips Healthcare and Zeiss Ophthalmology.

Mojo Vision is not the only company that is using contact lenses as a platform for electronics. Innovega has developed eMacula, an augmented reality and mixed reality entertainment and information system that combines a contact lens with a special frame.

In the medical field, the Swiss company Sensimed markets Triggerfish, an FDA-approved sensor-equipped contact lens that monitors the wearer’s glucose level. Verily, the life sciences division of Google parent, Alphabet, attempted to develop a glucose monitoring contact lens in partnership with Alcon, but abandoned the effort in 2018.