Japanese contact lens manufacturer Menicon has signed a joint development agreement with a US firm producing the world’s first augmented reality contact lens that overlays images and text on wearers’ natural field of vision.
The company announced the deal earlier this month with Mojo Vision, which will combine Menicon’s expertise in rigid gas permeable lenses with Mojo’s smart contact lens microelectronics, systems integration and consumer products innovation.
Mojo is working with the US Food and Drug Administration through its Breakthrough Devices Program, and has several proprietary technologies, including the smallest and densest dynamic display, a power-efficient image sensor built for computer vision, a high-bandwidth, low-power wireless radio, and motion sensors for precise eye tracking and image stabilisation.
Through the agreement, Mojo and Menicon will conduct a series of feasibility studies, centring on contact lens materials, cleaning, and fitting, among other topics.
If the feasibility studies succeed, Mojo and Menicon may work closer in future.
“This agreement with Mojo is a key step forward in our expansion of Menicon’s technology initiatives,” Menicon president Dr Hidenari Tanaka said.
“Mojo is an innovative company with a technology platform and a vision for the future of contact lens wear that aligns with Menicon’s aspirations. We believe that both companies can bring together skill sets and technologies that will support the successful development of a truly breakthrough product.”
Mr Drew Perkins, CEO and co-founder of Mojo Vision, said the development agreement was a significant step forward for the company, which has raised more than US$159 million (AU$210 m) to date.
“While we continue making progress in developing our smart contact lens technology, our collaboration with Menicon will provide us valuable insights that can accelerate our progress,” he said.
“Menicon’s team of seasoned professionals will bring significant contact lens research and development expertise to Mojo. We look forward to a long, productive working relationship.”