"The world's first true smart contact lens" has just been cancelled by creator, tech start up Mojo Vision. Mojo have since released a statement announcing their pivot to producing microLED components for immersive wearables, including XR, AR and VR headsets.
Originally founded in 2015, Mojo later unveiled its vision for the future through ultra-small AR displays in the form of wearable lenses. The company envisioned these lenses benefitting everyone, with the CEO stating previously that they could "change the lives of individuals with vision impairment". These could also have benefitted the aurally impaired through subtitling speech.
Their planned prototype would feature battery-power, eye-tracking, hi resolution display and rapid wireless capabilities, all small enough to fit in a contact lens. Unfortunately, Mojo will be halting production, meaning the product is unlikely to ever be produced–or at least, not by Mojo.
Citing a lack of capital, Mojo will halt research & development on the prototype of their flagship product, the world's first AR contact lens. CEO Drew Parkins blames the current economic climate as a major cause, with "extremely tight capital markets" and a "slumping global economy" heavily impacting the company's lack of success in raising funds.
Parkins also added there was a "yet-to-be proven market potential" for products like theirs, offering an advanced and thumbnail-sized AR wearable that would fit over a user's eye.
Nevertheless, he seemed positive for their pivot to MicroLEDs, affirming that their expertise puts Mojo Vision at the centre of a sector primed "disrupt the entire $160B display industry".
Unfortunately, Mojo has had to lay off 75% of its workforce in the pivot–joining the likes of Amazon, Salesforce, and an ever-growing list of tech companies downsizing, all citing market sentiment and economic hardships.
Despite the bad news, Mojo had previously partnered with some major names, with investments from Motorola Ventures, Gradient Ventures and more. They previously partnered with sportswear super-corp Adidas, with bygone plans to bring immersive AR experiences to both sporty consumers and athletes alike.
With Mojo's move to microLEDs, their vision of life-augmenting lenses might be dead but their vision of the future looks as clear as ever.