The Mojo Blog

Founder's Profile: Dr. Michael Deering

What about putting a tiny, pixel-dense display on a contact lens, I wondered?

May 26, 2020

When I joined forces with Mike Wiemer and Drew Perkins to found Mojo Vision in 2015, I was able to bring to the table a lifetime of research, experimentation, and product development from the fields of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). From 1985 through 2001, I defined and built several different AR and VR systems and solutions that pushed progress in the ecosystem forward by orders of magnitude. Some involved head-mounted displays, while others used active-shutter 3D glasses to decode images projected on a screen. Although they all worked sufficiently well, they confirmed to me that the display would be the primary limitation in developing a more practical implementation of VR/AR.

In addition to my experience building VR/AR systems, I’d also spent considerable time researching vision science and the way people perceive/see things. I studied the way in which a photon—a particle of light—travels into the eye, passes through the cornea and lens, and is finally captured by a single sensor (a rod or cone) on the retina’s surface.

These experiences led me to a conclusion that creating a tiny display closer to the eye would present challenges but also offer advantages. By sending photons directly to the retina with no interference, a near-eye display could be incredibly small, require fewer pixels, and be exponentially more energy efficient. What about putting a tiny, pixel-dense display on a contact lens, I wondered?

My 30+ year journey to build such a device resulted in the creation of Mojo Vision with Mike and Drew. Today, I work with amazing engineering and medical teams to create the world’s first true smart contact lens. I’m pleased to be working with such visionary (!) partners and such a talented team. I’m confident that my completed design for the Ultimate Display, one that builds on prototypes created over the past five decades, will soon be a reality—for myself and for people everywhere.