There’s been a lot of buzz around the metaverse, the completely virtual world with connected users, much like The Matrix. A stop on the road to the metaverse is the idea of augmented reality (AR), which combines the real world environment with computer-generated objects. It’s not a new idea, in fact there are several iPhone apps that already offer the technology, but not quite in a meaningful way yet. A recent Big Think article discussed a new milestone in the field of AR in which a human subject wore AR contact lenses.
The test was run at the research lab at Mojo Vision in Saratoga, California, and it marked the first time an AR lens was worn directly on the eye of a human subject. The prototype lens contains medical grade micro-batteries and a 14,000 pixel-per-inch MicroLED display with a pixel pitch of 1.8 microns, roughly 30x the pixel density of a new iPhone. Also inside the lens is an ARM processor with a 5GHz radio transmitter, an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer that tracks eye movements. Basically, it’s an entire smartphone that sits on your eye. While we may still be years away from a mass market consumer product, the transition to augmented reality seems inevitable, and contact lenses will likely be the conduit.