Deep-tech startup XPANCEO has secured US$40 million in seed funding to launch the first contact lenses with augmented reality (AR) vision features.
The company believes the lenses will be the next generation of computing in a post-smartphone era.
XPANCEO has created and successfully tested three separate prototypes in the laboratory that will enable night vision and 3D; a lens that offers measurement and precision vision (for example for clinical use); and a holographic lens for AR experiences.
XPANCEO’s plan is to use the funding from single investor, Opportunity Ventures in Hong Kong, to work on merging these functionalities into one lens, which it estimates will be completed by 2025 or 2026.
In an article published on the company’s website, co-founder Roman Axelrod said the company’s aim was to “merge all the gadgets into one, to provide humanity with a gadget with an infinite screen. What we aim for is to create the next generation of computing.”
While other companies are working on smart contact lenses, XPANCEO’s approach differs from its competitors in that it is creating a new material for its lenses, one thin enough to fit comfortably on the eye, while still having computing power and battery life.
Opportunity Venture’s (Asia) Managing Director Philip Ma said “XPANCEO has not merely an ambition but also a capacity to deliver on its product vision”.