A US startup has developed smart contact lenses that display real-time information and offer wearers “tunable vision” that can be controlled via a smartphone.
Wearable technology firm InWith demonstrated the futuristic device at the CES 2022 tech conference in Las Vegas this week, claiming that the device can do everything from providing directions, to eliminating eyesight conditions like myopia.
The ultimate aim for the product, according to InWith, is to provide people with easy and instant access to virtual worlds within the metaverse.
“The first applications of the technology will be ‘tunable vision’ via mobile device and ‘augmented vision’ coupled with mobile device control,” the company said.
“These markets have been called multi-billion dollars by themselves, but the ultimate application may be fully immersive metaverse viewing, offering users a super lightweight, virtually invisible way to go back and forth from real-world viewing to the metaverse.”
The product announcement claims several hundred patents, which allows an augmented reality (AR) display chip to be used with off-the-shelf contact lenses.
“From the latest AR metaverse visual applications, to giving better sight to people who suffer from myopia or presbyopia, InWith technology enable an electronic revolution for the future of eyesight and ophthalmic capabilities,” the startup said.
The company said it is already working with several companies to embed the technology into existing hydrogel lenses, however it is still waiting for approval from regulators before the lenses can offered to consumers.
InWith is aiming to receive Breakthrough Clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this year, with the hope of bringing the contact lenses to market soon after.
It is not the only firm to be working on smart contact lenses, with several other wearables startups also working on similar in-eye displays.
Also on show at CES were fitness-orientated lenses developed by Mojo Vision, which feature motion sensors and a processor within the lens itself.
The company is also waiting on FDA approval but is already working with sports and fitness companies, including Adidas, Trailforks and Slopes.