The world's first AR contact lens, a small lens "perspective" the vast world?
Author | LinQin editor | zishoutu source: vrscout
Source:Silicon rabbit race
Original title: the world's first AR contact lens, is the entrance of metauniverse really opened this time
In the movie ace agent, the protagonist can instantly enter the "second space" invisible to others with his glasses on, and conduct ar video conference with agents all over the world. When I naively thought that this was the ultimate imagination of human beings for the holographic future, a company in real life let me understand what is called "reality is always more magical than movies".
Mojo vision, which was founded in 2015 and has been kept secret, recently threw a big bomb - launching the world's first AR contact lens prototype product.
You should know that North, the last company to make ar glasses with great fanfare, was unable to survive after burning up nearly 200million dollars and selling less than 1000 pairs of glasses, and was finally accepted by Google. What are the odds of mojo vision, which is more ambitious than north?
Since its establishment, mojo vision has received a total investment of US $205million. Because it has always maintained a low profile and mysterious, although the outside world has been snooping for many times, it has found nothing. Corporate CTO Mike Wiemer It even said publicly that it would not make any comments until it was determined that the product could be used in real life.
It was not until the beginning of 2020 that the start-up company officially announced its first product plan - a smart ar contact lens.
Now, this one is called“Mojo Lens”The prototype of the product shows the true face of Lushan Mountain.
As shown in the figure below, you can see at a glance that mojo lens lenses are not conventional contact lenses.
It may combine all the AR lens technology features you can think of so far - display, battery system, eye tracking, motion sensor, arm0 processor with 5-GHz module and proprietary wireless technology for content streaming. Mojo lens has three highlights: the world's smallest and most pixel intensive microled display, and low delay communication technology for AR devices(Low Latency Communication), and ultra accurate eye tracking system.
Mojo lens lens is composed of several layers. The core element is the microled display with a pixel density of 14K. It is also a display designed by this company for contact lenses from 0. It is about the size of a grain of sand.
With this pair of smart contact lenses, you can see all the common formats of text, graphics and video from the lens. It's just that the content comes from a separate mini computer, which you need to hang on your shoulder like a headset around your neck. Because of the integration of sensors for motion detection and image sensors, mojo lens can directly display the content within the 15 degree field of view on the retina.
At the same time, eye tracking is used to detect the eye gaze position and adjust the image consistency, which means that moving the eye can disable the display at any time.
The image sensor is responsible for sensing the ambient light and adjusting the brightness and contrast of the lens. It can also recognize the scene and be used for object recognition. This may be of great help to mojo lens wearers with visual impairment.
As for the energy system of glasses, mojo lens currently draws energy from the micro battery commonly used in implant medicine, which is enough to use for one day.
Foreign mediaCNETReporter forScott SteinExperienced the prototype equipment and wrote an article to introduce it. At that time, the product could not be put into people's eyes, but he experienced many demonstration applications through the lens, including a travel application that simulates searching aircraft flight information. The lens can display the seat and boarding gate. Another fitness application pops up health data such as heart rate in a way similar to the reading of a smart watch. In addition, there are teleprompter applications.
However, the current prototype version does not support focus debugging, and the lens image is always displayed in a clear focus, that is, it cannot be changed according to whether you look at the remote or macro.
The more important improvement is the energy system.
At present, the prototype of mojo lens is not the final product. The internal power supply system of the device has not been fully activated, and it needs to be powered by external power supply. Therefore, there will be potential safety hazards when wearing it directly. At present, only a special small bracket can be held to power ar contact lenses, and the AR contact lenses can be close to their eyeballs to feel the display effect.
Since mojo lens must measure data and customize for each buyer separately, in terms of price, mojo lens is likely to eventually rival the pricing of high-end smartphones.
Next, mojo vision will work with Japanese contact lens manufacturers Menicon Cooperation, continue to improve products, and jointly bring the first smart contact lens to the market. Including the latest round of US $45million financial capital this year, a considerable part of the capital will directly serve this goal.
At present, mojo plans to bring its first commercial glasses to the market within five years, first for medical purposes, then for daily use, and occupy part of the smart glasses market through contact lenses.
As high-tech contact lenses are still classified as medical devices, in addition to further technology development, mojo vision is currently focusing on obtaining medical approval from the U.S. Food and drug administration, and its first user market is also set in the United States.
What is worth looking forward to is that they have obtained a quota for a special plan, which can speed up the approval process. But the exact timetable also depends on the speed of regulators.
so far,Google、Facebook andAppleSuch large companies have not been able to produce elegant ar glasses, let alone useful smart contact lenses. Therefore, the progress of mojo vision has attracted much attention.
Mike wiemer and his team firmly believe in AR smart contact lenses. Where does his confidence come from?
First, the company received endorsements from NEA, Khosla ventures, 8vc, ame cloud ventures, Amazon Alexa fund, HP, LG and a series of well-known institutions. "Our successful fundraising is both pressure and motivation. It is not easy to develop the first real ar smart contact lens and all the breakthrough technologies it requires. Our confidence comes from having built and worn the early prototype version. More than a dozen mojo employees have worn our first prototype," wiemer said.
In fact, the founding team's research and development around technology contact lenses can be traced back to 2010. In order to produce the prototype of "the world's first AR contact lens", they have insisted for more than ten years.
Co founder and CTO Mike wiemer ownsStanford UniversityBachelor's, master's and doctor's degrees in electrical engineering, and patents and papers on semiconductor devices and applications, silicon photonics, material integration, lasers, solar cells, solar systems and analog circuits. In 2007, he founded Solar JunctionAfter that, it set two world records in improving the efficiency of solar cells and sold the company in 2014.
CEO Drew Perkins Graduated fromCarnegie Mellon University, a 59 year old serial entrepreneur, has started a business and sold several companies. The last company was later sold toNokia。
Both of them believe that neither ar glasses nor head mounted display is the future of ar. such heavy hardware that covers the face and eyes is a physical obstacle. In order to make ar/vr more popular, this obstacle must be eliminated.
Mojo lens advocates "invisible computing", that is, to build a computer that is completely invisible into people's daily life, and its carrier is the contact lenses in the eyes.
"We hope that people can directly access useful information without visual interference or discomfort caused by glasses. We believe that contact lenses are the future of wearable computers.".
Imagine that in daily life, mojo lens can naturally display information to wearers without them constantly checking their mobile phones. "Mojo vision should display relevant useful information only when users need it, which is natural and efficient.".
After the release of "the world's first real smart contact lens", the team will further develop, test and iterate new stealth computing experience based on this new prototype. At the same time, the team will continue to conduct extensive user testing and analysis, software application prototype design and overall system and product optimization with partners.
In addition, in addition to clinical tests for people with normal vision, the company will start clinical evaluation of lens for people with impaired vision.
Of course, games or entertainment scenes related to the metauniverse will also be a possible application, but mojo is still very cautious to avoid talking too much about the future and imagination, such as 5g content stream or blade runner digital reality.
"We are currently developing and producing the mojo lens prototype. It is too early to talk about these futuristic details," Mike wiemer said in a recent interview.
The idea of mojo vision is actually traceable. After all, nowMicrosoftof Hololens 2 And Google's Google Glass Such ar devices have beenToyotaandBoeingAnd other companies are used to help repair cars or make aircraft faster. Magic leap has also shifted from manufacturing consumer centric products to targeting medical and defense applications.
Although the discussion about the metauniverse is only increasing, it seems that it will take a long time to completely immerse in VR or ar devices as depicted in the movie "the number one player". It may be practical to integrate the digital world with the real world.
As Mike wiemer said:"When we share this latest prototype, the most common response we hear is: 'I knew there would be smart contact lenses, but I thought it would take 10 or 20 years'. No, this future is happening."
Since magic leap, the AR industry has been waiting for a new tonic. When a company comes up with enough solid and innovative products, I wonder how far mojo vision can go in the direction of integrating digital and reality this time?