Personal Tech | November 3, 2022 12:35 pm

The Smart Contact Lens Has Arrived. Here’s What It Can Do.

Mojo Vision just demonstrated an Amazon Alexa Shopping List on its prototype smart contact lens, but the tech offers far greater potential

A person at a grocery store creating an Amazon Alexa grocery list displayed in a smart contact lens from Mojo Vision
The future could include grocery lists that pop up on your smart contact lenses.
Mojo Vision

This week a company called Mojo Vision announced a “potential consumer implementation” of an Amazon Alexa shopping list on its smart contact lens prototype, hyping the idea of a voice-crafted display on your eyeballs as the “first major third-party consumer application on a smart contact lens.”

While adding, scrolling and checking off grocery items while you’re shopping in a hands-free fashion is useful, it’s certainly a boring way to introduce a rather interesting and futuristic piece of tech.

“At Amazon, we believe experiences can be made better with technology that is always there when you need it, yet you never have to think about it,” Alexa Shopping List GM Ramya Reguramalingam said in a release. “We’re excited that Mojo Vision’s Invisible Computing for Mojo Lens, paired with the demonstration of Alexa Shopping List as a use case, is showing the art of what’s possible for hands-free, discreet smart shopping experiences.”

While this is all just at a demo stage, it’s probably a good time to see (ha) how a smart contact lens could potentially work. The Mojo Lens overlays images, symbols and text on the user’s natural field of vision “without obstructing their view, restricting mobility or hindering social interactions.” Users could access information quickly and discreetly on a microLED screen without forcing them to look down at a screen in their hand or lose focus.

So it’s basically a near-invisible take on augmented reality, and also designed to be unobtrusive to the wearer. Mojo suggests a few additional, hypothetical use cases for its Lens project: users could see trails on a ski slope, their pace during a run or talking points for a presentation, for example.

Obviously, the usefulness or dangers of Mojo Lens won’t really be known until we get to a test-use stage. Right now, that’s been pretty limited — Mojo Vision CEO Drew Perkins only put a working prototype into his eye in June. “It works,” Perkins noted in a company blog post. “Much to my delight, I found I could interact with a compass to find my bearings, view images and use an on-screen teleprompter to read a surprising but familiar quote.”