We’re breaking our rules on this one. We seldom mention new health tech products prior to their development. Due to the potential benefits of the technology and the assets of the two participants, we make an exception in this case. Earlier this month, Japanese firm Menicon and California-based Mojo Vision jointly announced an agreement to explore joint smart contact lens technology development. Menicon is Japan’s largest contact lens manufacturer and the largest gas-permeable contact lens producer in the world. Mojo Vision is an augmented reality (AR) pioneer in smart contact lens development.

The first stage of the agreement is a series of feasibility studies to determine if Menicon’s contact lens research, development, and manufacturing experience are appropriate for further development with Mojo’s smart lens microelectronics, systems integration, and consumer product innovation. If the studies indicate that combining the respective company’s technologies is feasible, the parties may move to a closer working relationship.

Leveraging the two companies’ respective expertise in contact lens manufacturing and technology could speed up a host of AR-powered smart contact lens applications. Mojo Vision is developing the first AR smart contact lens, the Mojo Lens. Not available for sale at this time, the Mojo Lens incorporates many of the company’s patented technologies, including an ultra power-efficient computer vision image sensor; a high-bandwidth, low-power wireless radio; and precise tracking motion sensors and image stabilizers. According to Mojo, the company has also developed the smallest and densest dynamic display ever made. Mojo is currently working with the FDA’s Breakthrough Devices Program.

Mojo Vision’s concept of eyes-up experience — which it calls Invisible Computing — includes hands-free, instantaneous, and unobtrusive access to vital information. Menicon is an end-to-end contact lens company from materials development through lens care solutions. We have high expectations for future announcements from these two innovation leaders.