Augmented reality has been the stuff of sci-fi movies. When Arnold Schwarzenegger was assessing the outer world as the Terminator, the data that appeared on one side of his vision was augmented reality (AR); so were the heads-up displays that pilots Maverick and Iceman used in "Top Gun," and the layered information that Tony Stark’s helmet provided him as "Iron Man."

Now, that type of sci-fi tech is coming to a pair of eyeballs near you. A new line of contact lenses from Mojo Vision allows you to check a feed of simple data while you’re having a conversation or going about your work. With the Mojo lenses in your eyes, you’ll be able to glance at traffic updates and weather forecasts. 

Google Glass pioneered the field of AR when it launched its revolutionary product in 2013 with great fanfare — but by 2015 it had withdrawn the glasses from the market following complaints that the clunky eyewear was more an affectation than effective. Some critics even dubbed wearers, “Glassholes.”

But, Google didn’t give up. It relaunched an improved version of the glasses in May of last year that are being used successfully in commercial settings, such as warehouses and factories. 

Mojo Vision’s foray into the market is the next step in AR eyewear with lenses in your eye rather than glasses on your face. It’s a scenario shared by many tech aficionados — visual and audio data devices that are integrated into our bodies, not just held in our hands.

Right now Mojo’s lenses are pretty basic. You can check weather, traffic updates or your calendar. But someday, we will hopefully be able to connect to the same data available in our computers.

Beyond the convenience of checking email, AR could be a huge boon to first responders. Firefighters could potentially ‘see’ the layout of a building through dense smoke, or doctors could see a detailed map of the body during surgery. 

For the rest of us, AR lenses could eliminate the frequent complaint about your phone at the dinner table — or it could just make it harder to catch you zoning out of the conversation.


Some video courtesy of Mojo Vision.

Published on Mar 02, 2020