Forget about fitness trackers and smart glasses. Mojo Vision smart contact lenses do it all

My last time I watched Mojo Vision, January 2020. Lenses are gearing up for the fitness market.

James Martin / CNET

This story is part of THOSE, where CNET covers the latest news on the most amazing technology to come.

It’s been two years that I occupy a tiny contact lens with a display in it up to my eye. Mojo Vision’s technology, still aiming for a stand-alone, FDA-approved testable prototype, promises a heads-up display that you could wear without glasses, equipped with its own motion sensors and processor. While the company’s original goal for contact lenses was to help the visually impaired, which remains Mojo Vision’s long-term goal, the company’s new partnership with several fitness and sports companies explores how and if the lenses could function as fitness readings worn by the eyes, too.

Mojo Vision works with companies that cover running (Adidas), hiking and cycling (Trailforks), yoga (Wearable X), snow sports (Slopes) and golf (18Birdies). According to Steve Sinclair, senior vice president of product and marketing at Mojo Vision, the partnerships aim to determine what the best interfaces would be and whether the fitness and athletic training markets would be suitable.

Mojo Vision’s announcement builds on the results of a survey the company collected from more than 1,300 sports enthusiasts, indicating that athletes tend to use wearable devices for data collection (which not surprisingly) and would benefit from better data access. The survey notes that 50% wanted real-time data (again, not surprisingly based on the current fitness tracker market). The partnership is more about exploring the possibilities than about some definitive solution in mind.


Mojo Vision

There are already a number of head-up displays for sports use, especially for skiing and swimming goggles. What is not clear is whether wearable contact lenses with screens would be useful rather than distracting. It’s also unclear whether Mojo Vision’s eye-movement-based lens interface control would be used, or whether the display readings for things like heart rate would remain static. Or do you prefer to just watch your watch? In a video chat discussion, Sinclair suggested that much of the opportunity would be focused on training, not live events.

Eventually, the idea of ​​wearable screens and glasses functioning as connected displays with fitness watches seems inevitable. Whether or not contact lenses are safer to use than looking at a watch depends on how easy Mojo Vision’s lenses will be to wear and read. We don’t yet know the answers to this, but the overlap between smart glasses and fitness trackers is probably just beginning.

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