Partnerships with Adidas Running and others are seeing if contact lens displays make a good fit with sports and fitness.
My last time looking at Mojo Vision, January 2020. The lenses are gearing up for the fitness training market next.
It’s been two years since I held a up to my eye. Mojo Vision’s tech, which is still aiming toward a self-contained and FDA-approved testable prototype, promises a heads-up display you could wear without glasses, equipped with its own . While the company’s original focus for the contact lens was on helping the visually impaired, which remains Mojo Vision’s longer-term goal, the company’s newest partnership with several fitness and sports companies explores how and if the lenses could work as eye-worn fitness readouts, too.
Mojo Vision is working with companies that cover running (Adidas), hiking and cycling (Trailforks), yoga (Wearable X), snow sports (Slopes) and golf (18Birdies). According to Steve Sinclair, Mojo Vision’s senior VP of product and marketing, the partnerships are about trying to determine what the best interfaces would be, and whether markets in fitness and sports training would be a good fit.
Mojo Vision’s announcement leans on survey results the company collected from over 1,300 sports enthusiasts, indicating that athletes tend to use wearables for data collection (not surprising) and would benefit from better data access. The survey notes that 50% wanted real-time data (again, not surprising based on the current fitness tracker market). The partnership is more geared toward exploring possibilities, rather than having any sort of definitive solution in mind.
There are already a number of heads-up displays for sports use, including ski and . What’s unclear is if wearable contact lenses with displays in them would be helpful as opposed to distracting. It’s also unclear whether Mojo Vision’s eye movement-based control of the lenses’ interface would be used, or if display readouts for things like heart rate would remain static. Or, would you just prefer to look at your watch? In a discussion over video chat, Sinclair suggested that a lot of the possibilities would be focused on training, not during live events.
Eventually, the idea of wearable displays and glasses working as connected readouts with fitness watches seems inevitable. Whether or not contact lenses end up feeling safer to use than glancing at a watch depends on how easy Mojo Vision’s lenses will be to wear and read. We don’t know the answers to that yet, but the overlaps between smart glasses and fitness trackers are likely just getting started.