Are Contact Lenses the Future of Augmented Reality?

It's said that "the eyes are the windows to the soul," but in a few years, they might also open windows to the weather, sports scores, phone calls, and more.

Mojo Vision is developing "smart" contact lenses that will display a variety of apps directly on your retina.
Mojo Vision is developing "smart" contact lenses that will display a variety of apps directly on your retina.

A California-based company called Mojo Vision has been quietly developing contact lens technology that, if you couldn't see it with your own eyes -- literally -- you'd swear was the stuff of science fiction. The so-called smart lenses aren't ready for their closeup just yet, but according to Wired magazine, they are already pretty remarkable.

If all goes as planned, the lenses will attach to your eyes and, for the most part, won't be noticeable. But if you glance to the side of your field of vision, you'll be able to call up micro-screens with interfaces that let you do everything from playing music and checking your calendar to reading pages of text and checking the weather forecast.

Mojo Vision co-founder Mike Wiemer told Wired that one of the crucial aspects of such an endeavor is to come up with a product that helps without hindering. ""We want to create a technology that lets you be you, lets you look like you; doesn't change your appearance; it doesn't make you act weird walking down the street." he said. "It's very discreet and frankly, substantially, most of the time it doesn't show you anything."

All eyes on contact lenses:

  • In the late 1880s, the earliest practical contact lenses were made of blown glass.

  • Leonardo da Vinci conceived of contact lenses -- water-filled glass hemispheres fitted over the eyes -- hundreds of years before they became a reality.

  • Modern contact lenses move slightly when you blink, which allows them to be kept moist by the wearer's natural tears.

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