Xpanceo Unveils Iron Man-Inspired Smart Contact Lens
Dubai-based start-up Xpanceo has revealed prototypes of its groundbreaking smart contact lens, drawing inspiration from technology showcased in the Iron Man films, according to the company's founder and managing partner, Roman Axelrod.
Having secured $40 million in seed funding in October, Xpanceo aims to launch the innovative device by 2027 following anticipated human trials within the next two years.
Axelrod informed The National on Wednesday that human trials typically take between six months to several years, and after completion, the smart contact lenses are expected to hit optical stores by 2027 or 2028.
Xpanceo showcased three prototypes featuring an "infinite" extended reality view, displaying tasks such as document handling, meetings, social media, and gaming exclusively within the wearer's field of vision.
Powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, the smart lens will offer night vision capabilities and can be controlled through voice commands, gestures, glances, and potentially, mental commands in the future.
Xpanceo is also working on a charging case reminiscent of those used for wireless earbuds.
The overarching goal of the project is to consolidate various consumer devices into a hyper-miniaturized gadget, effectively replacing laptops, smartphones, and smartwatches.
Axelrod envisions this as the "computer of the future," drawing parallels to Tony Stark's setup in Marvel's Iron Man.
While the pricing for Xpanceo's smart contact lens remains undecided, Axelrod emphasizes the need for affordability, aiming for a cost comparable to that of an expensive smartphone, likely in the four-figure range.
For reference, the highest-tier iPhone 15 Pro Max is currently priced at $1,599 in the US.
With technological miniaturization rapidly advancing, Xpanceo seeks to provide users with a more streamlined and accessible alternative to multiple devices.
The augmented reality sector is gaining momentum, with Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, making notable strides with its innovative headsets.
In the dynamic realm of smart contact lenses, Xpanceo is taking a bold stride forward, determined to make a mark in a field where others have faced setbacks.
While Xpanceo acknowledges it's not the pioneer in developing such innovative lenses, the company is resolute in advancing its unique device, aiming to overcome challenges that previous attempts may have encountered.
Alvin R Cabral / The National