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Another company has stopped developing smart contact lenses

One of the companies working on smart contact lenses is calling off the project. On Friday Mojo Vision announced that it will “turn its business and focus its resources” on the MicroLED display technology it built during its work on the Mojo lens (through Axios). Unfortunately, part of the pivot involves laying off about 75 percent of employees during the restructuring, according to a news report from the company’s CEO Drew Perkins. The company had about 150 employees, according to data PitchBook and LinkedIn.

The post says the reason for the change is that Mojo has been unable to raise funds to work on its smart contact lens. “The slumping global economy, extremely tight capital markets, and the yet-to-be-proven market potential for advanced AR products have all contributed to a situation where Mojo Vision has been unable to find additional private funding,” Perkins wrote.

When the company showed off the Mojo lens at CES 2020, it was clearly a long way off the market. The 14,000 pixel-per-inch screen in the demo unit seemed to do the job, but it had to be hooked up to an external battery and processor – not exactly ideal if you really wanted to wear it on your eye. In June 2022, Mojo posted a video with a “feature-complete prototype” carried by Perkins, with built-in power and communications. In a blog post from Marchthe company said the next step was “extensive user testing and analysis, software application prototyping, and overall system and product optimization,” implying it would be quite some time before consumers could actually buy their lenses.

Even if Mojo could have sold its smart contacts, it wouldn’t have been a guaranteed success. While being able to see informational overlays, directions, and even zoom in on objects feels like the sci-fi future, it’s unclear whether the general public took to the idea of ​​face-mounted computers, as it largely rejected Google Glass. Even if that’s something we’re at peace with now, Mojo may have faced fierce competition. Meta is pouring billions of dollars into AR and acquiring companies active in the field of smart glasses. While glasses don’t necessarily feel as futuristic as smart contacts, they could theoretically offer similar functionality in a slightly different form factor.

Mojo won’t be alone in pursuing the MicroLED display market, either. Companies like LG and Samsung have already announced TVs using the technology, although they are currently much larger than the screens Mojo has shown off. For example, at CES this year, Samsung presented its 76-inch MicroLED CX as “the world’s smallest and most affordable MicroLED display.” (The smallest MicroLED TV he showed off was 50 inchesbut that’s still much bigger than, say, something that could fit your eye.) It didn’t share pricing details, but its other MicroLED TVs have Screens over 99 inches and costing well north of $120,000.

Mojo isn’t the first company to halt work on eye-based wearables. Verily, a grant from Google parent company Alphabet halted research in 2018 on contact lenses that can measure a wearer’s glucose levels.

Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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