Mojo Vision raises $45M for AR contact lenses with sports applications | VentureBeat

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The vision for the Mojo Lens assembly.

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Mojo Vision has raised $45 million to adapt its augmented reality contact lenses to work with sports and fitness applications.

Saratoga, California-based Mojo Vision bills itself as the Invisible Computing Company. It is announcing strategic partnerships with sports and fitness brands to collaborate on next-generation user experiences that combine augmented reality, wearable technology, and personal performance data.

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The companies will work together using Mojo’s smart contact lens technology, Mojo Lens, to find unique ways to improve access to data and enhance athletes’ performance during sporting activities.

The additional funding includes investments from Amazon Alexa Fund, PTC, Edge Investments, HiJoJo Partners, and others. Existing investors NEA, Liberty Global Ventures, Advantech Capital, AME Cloud Ventures, Dolby Family Ventures, Motorola Solutions, and Open Field Capital have also participated.

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Mojo Vision sees an opportunity in the wearables market to deliver performance data and real-time stats to data-conscious athletes like runners, cyclists, gym users, golfers, and more through Mojo Lens’ intuitive hands-free, eye-controlled user interface.

Strategic partnerships

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Above: Mojo Vision is making augmented reality contact lenses.

Mojo Vision is engaging in several strategic partnerships with fitness brands to address the unmet performance data needs of athletes and sports enthusiasts. The company’s initial partnerships include Adidas Running (running/training), Trailforks (cycling, hiking/outdoors), Wearable X (yoga), Slopes (snow sports), and 18Birdies (golf).

Through these strategic partnerships and the market expertise the companies provide, Mojo Vision will explore additional smart contact lens interfaces and experiences to understand and improve the delivery of data for athletes of varying skill levels and abilities.

“We are making important progress in developing our smart contact lens technology, and we continue to research and identify new market potential for this groundbreaking platform,” said Steve Sinclair, senior vice president of product and marketing of Mojo Vision, in a statement. “Our partnerships with these leading brands will give us valuable insights into user behavior in the sports and fitness market. The goal is for these collaborations to deliver athletes an entirely new form factor with performance data that is more accessible and useful [at] the moment.”

Recent research from the International Data Corporation (IDC) shows global wearables shipments grew 32.3% year-over-year from 2020 to 2021. This significant and sustained growth in the wearable tech market is led by companies that continue to refine and release fitness trackers, smartwatches, smartphone apps, and other wearable devices aimed largely at bettering the user experience for sports and fitness enthusiasts. Yet, new data shows there may be a gap in the type of data and the accessibility of that data that athletes and fitness enthusiasts want.

In a new survey of over 1,300 athletes, Mojo Vision found that athletes very much rely on wearable data and are expressing a need for different ways for data to be delivered. The study showed that almost three out of four (74%) people usually or always use a wearable to track performance data during their workout or activity.

However, even though today’s athletes rely on wearable tech, there is a substantial appetite for devices that can better deliver access to real-time data about their performance — 83% of respondents said they would benefit from data in real-time or in the moment.

Additionally, half of the respondents said that of the three times (before, during, and after their workout) they receive performance data from their devices, in-the-moment or “during data,” was the most valuable type.

Mojo Lens, backed by years of scientific research and numerous technology patents, overlays images, symbols, and text on users’ natural field of vision without obstructing their view, restricting mobility, or hindering social interactions. Mojo calls this experience Invisible Computing.

In addition to the sports and wearable tech market, Mojo is planning an early application of its product to help people struggling with vision impairment by using enhanced image overlays.

Mojo Vision is actively working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through its Breakthrough Devices Program, a voluntary program designed to provide safe and timely access to medical devices that can help treat irreversibly debilitating diseases or conditions.

These new investments bring Mojo Vision’s total funding to date to $205 million.