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Perspective: Smart contact lens with a projector the size of a grain of sand

The contact lens Mojo Lens from Mojo Vision, intended for augmented reality, contains a control unit including local image processing, a high-resolution MicroLED display and projector, plus image and motion sensors, a radio unit for smartphone connection and a battery pack attached to the lens for power supply. This should provide energy for a day. The display is only about 0.45 micrometers wide. With a pixel pitch of 1.87 micrometers and 14,000 pixels per inch, it has the highest density of its peers.

More from c't magazine

More from c't magazine

More from c't magazine

The components are tiny, but not transparent. So how do you position the display so that it projects the AR information onto the retina without shading the retina as possible? Mojo believes a bit of shadowing is acceptable and places it centrally in front of the pupil. Because it is so small, shadowing is justifiable. The company gives examples: An object with a diameter of 1 millimeter leads to a loss of brightness of 11 percent with a pupil diameter of 3 millimeters. With a pupil diameter of 4 millimeters the loss is 6 percent, with 5 millimeters only 4 percent. The pupil shrinks and expands according to the light conditions; typical is 2 millimeters with a lot of light and 8 millimeters with little light. In the case of uncoated lenses, the loss is 8 percent, according to Mojo.

Mojo also has an interesting solution for tracking AR information: the company detects head and eye movements with acceleration sensors and the projector executes appropriate counter-movements so that the projected AR information locks onto the intended object. When the smart lens is ready for the market in a few years, people with poor eyesight should first benefit from it. The AR cross-fade can then increase contrasts or edges. A study is currently underway to investigate tolerability.

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