For the past few years, Mojo Vision has had a small presence at CES, offering up glimpses into the potential of its augmented reality contact lenses. Every year, the picture seems a little closer, if still far away. For reasons having to do with the pandemic, we won’t be meeting with the California firm this year, though it is offering up some more insight into what a future of smart contacts could look like.
The big news at this year’s show is a number of partnerships with brands across the sports spectrum, including: Adidas Running, Trailforks (cycling/hiking), Wearable X (yoga), Slopes (skiing) and 18Birdies (golf). In spite of the partnerships, the tech still isn’t ready for market -- among other things, the company is seeking FDA approval.
Instead, what it’s showcasing here is the potential role an effectively eye-mounted display could play in the lives of professional athletes.
“Today’s wearable devices can be helpful to athletes, but they can also distract them from the focus of the activity; we think there’s a better way to deliver athletic performance data,” Mojo Senior Director of Product Management David Hobbs said in a release. “Wearable innovation in existing form factors is starting to reach its limits. At Mojo, we're interested in better understanding what's still missing and how we can make that information accessible without disrupting someone's focus and flow during training — when it matters most.”
Effectively, the company’s envisioning a world where data can be served up without a bulky wearable or forcing the athelete to look down at their device. At the very least, the partnerships are a clear indication that Mojo is going after sports as an early market for its technology, in addition to other applications, like assistance for the visually impaired.
The company also announced today a $45 million Series B-1, following last April's $51 million raise. This latest round, which features Amazon Alexa Fund, PTC, Edge Investments and HiJoJo Partners, brings the firm's total funding up to $205 million.