Could Contact Lenses be the Ultimate Computer Screen?

26 Jun 2022
Mojo is undertaking comprehensive testing of smart contact lenses on humans that corrects the user's vision while giving the wearer a heads-up display that materializes in front of their eyes. In this thread, our community discusses Mojo's new product and its potential benefits and downsides.
This Slogging thread by Mónica Freitas, Arthur Tkachenko and Sara Pinto occurred in slogging's official #technology channel, and has been edited for readability.
Mónica FreitasMay 31, 2022, 2:09 PM
Could contact lenses be the ultimate computer screen?
Mónica FreitasMay 31, 2022, 2:10 PM
"Imagine you have to make a speech, but instead of looking down at your notes, the words scroll in front of your eyes, whichever direction you look in.

That's just one of many features the makers of smart contact lenses promise will be available in the future.

"Imagine... you're a musician with your lyrics, or your chords, in front of your eyes. Or you're an athlete and you have your biometrics and your distance and other information that you need," says Steve Sinclair, from Mojo, which is developing smart contact lenses.

His company is about to embark on comprehensive testing of smart contact lens on humans, that will give the wearer a heads-up display that appears to float in front of their eyes."
Mónica FreitasMay 31, 2022, 2:11 PM
"The product's scleral lens (a larger lens that extends to the whites of the eye) corrects the user's vision, but also incorporates a tiny microLED display, smart sensors and solid-state batteries.

"We've built what we call a feature-complete prototype that actually works and can be worn - we're soon going to be testing that [out] internally," says Mr Sinclair."
Mónica FreitasMay 31, 2022, 2:12 PM
"Research is underway to build lenses that can diagnose and treat medical conditions from eye conditions, to diabetes, or even cancer by tracking certain biomarkers such as light levels, cancer-related molecules or the amount of glucose in tears."
Mónica FreitasMay 31, 2022, 2:14 PM
This new prototype can be groundbreaking if it succeeds. However, there are a few concerns regarding privacy, eye health, and functionality. What do you think about smart contact lenses? What perks and downsides would attract/push you away?
Arthur TkachenkoJun 2, 2022, 7:27 PM
Let's start with history. First lenses was invented >= 70 years ago. and it was glass in your eyes.
Arthur TkachenkoJun 2, 2022, 7:33 PM
Not sure if it quickly gets adopted and probably will cost a lot.

At the same time, a year ago I and my friend were riding through the forest on bicycles. And there was a huge hole that we decided to film. It was created by some underground river and a lot of trees were green and bright around it.

He gets out the latest Samsung phone and starts to film the whole area. And I noticed something strange... The colors on his phone were much brighter and juicier than the colors that my brain was compiling...

And I was like "damn, we already fucked". Someone will soon decide to replace his eyes with cameras from Samsung.

And it can be beneficial, like if you want to see in the dark.
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Arthur TkachenkoJun 2, 2022, 7:39 PM
I assume that before we'll get cool lenses, we probably will cure blindness with some tech. Like imagine a person that lost vision due to some incident. The brain still has an area that can process an image, but you need a source for visual signals... Not sure if it will be a real eyeball, but what if this is some sort of wearable, like you put some cap with a camera, it's connected to your neuralink and sends a signal that can be processed by your brain after some training and it's not something impossible or a new.

First result in google:

Is there technology to help the blind see?

That's the premise behind the OrCam MyEye Pro: This cutting-edge technology helps those who are completely blind make sense of the visual world by describing what they can't see. A small wireless smart camera about the size of your index finger attaches with a magnet to the arm of any eyeglasses.
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Arthur TkachenkoJun 2, 2022, 7:41 PM
I recall a technology that helped people with hearing loss.
It was something like attaching a microphone on a head with a wire straight to the hearing nerves in the ears.

Cool article:
Sara PintoJun 6, 2022, 4:36 PM
Mónica Freitas, wow, this is definitely what the future looks like for me. Me being a contact lenses user, I wonder how comfortable wearing this gadget actually is. How long do you think it will take for the public to have access to this technology?
Mónica FreitasJun 7, 2022, 2:47 PM
Arthur Tkachenko, that's super interesting! First, smart lenses could give us new ranges: see in the dark, see more into the color spectrum, and display information on our health or other data. But, even though this is amazing, I'd hope it'd be possible to cure blindness first, as you mentioned. Get the priorities straight.
Mónica FreitasJun 7, 2022, 2:48 PM
Arthur Tkachenko, it's no wonder some camera phones already do a better job capturing images than we do. One of the issues the inventors are having with these smart lenses is making them suitable for human use and making them durable in terms of battery (after all, it'd have to be a tiny battery).
Mónica FreitasJun 7, 2022, 2:51 PM
Sara Pinto, that is one problem they are trying to solve - making it wearable and comfortable for the user. I am guessing it will still take some time, mainly because they still need to develop a strategy to keep the battery running. Though, if they're able to create fully operable lenses, even if they only display health indicators, it'll be a game-changer for the health industry.
Sara PintoJun 7, 2022, 5:58 PM
Mónica Freitas, they still have a long way to go, but this sure is promising. This technology for people who need to check their health stats regularly, such as diabetes, will be helpful.
Mónica FreitasJun 8, 2022, 10:39 AM
Sara Pinto, depending on the programming, they could even work for people with mental health conditions. I can see these lenses tracking hormonal levels, reminding them of medication, and reporting significant metabolic changes - things that could help a doctor better analyze and diagnose certain conditions.
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Arthur TkachenkoJun 8, 2022, 10:42 AM
Mónica Freitas
re: Get the priorities straight.

I dont think that this will be the priority for Big investors. But in order to get an approval from huge number of medical commissions in USA these companies can try to get an approval for human trial with good intentions first.Without this approval 0 doctors will do operations like this.

But mass market is probably beyoung the curing blind people for sure.
Arthur TkachenkoJun 8, 2022, 10:45 AM
About battery and everything, i think most wearables can start with only input-output functionality, while most data processing will do through your phone that you also keeping with you. Most wearables right now, (plus not announced yet apple glasses) trying to be very tiny.
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Mónica FreitasJun 8, 2022, 10:51 AM
Arthur Tkachenko, that seems like a mistake to me, even economically. According to WHO, more than a quarter of the world's population has vision impairment, so wouldn't it be in the investors' best interest to tackle that even while developing products like these lenses? You'd get the clearance to get your product out there while helping people with vision impairment - two revenue streams right here - plus, a percentage of those patients you've helped could try your product now that it's applicable to them - another win.
Mónica FreitasJun 8, 2022, 10:52 AM
Arthur Tkachenko, I agree on that end. I think it'll assimilate a smartwatch/health band in that sense.
Arthur TkachenkoJun 8, 2022, 10:56 AM
Mónica Freitas. well, it's a hard question. I mean basic glass was invented decades ago, but we still didn't move it forward. it's costly to produce them, hard to fix, etc. So looks like the market is fine with the currrent situation(even if people are struggling)

same story related to 3d printers and their mass adoption. Why do i need to go to the store and buy some plastic tools, imported from China, instead of downloading a schema and printing it? I'm sure that a lot of people love to craft, but our market is still not ready.
Arthur TkachenkoJun 8, 2022, 10:58 AM
And i agree that lost/losing vision is a huge issue. Especially as we(people of the Earth) extend our lifespan with help of our cool doctors - more years people will spend with glasses rather than without glasses.