Blocking your view
As seen in the picture above, the actual display shown is not transparent. The part that creates the image is actually blocking what's behind it. This means it has to stay so small it only ever fills a small portion of your vision, or else you won't see anything else.
For it to actually be transparent, yet high resolution, we are actually potentially hitting some solid barriers in the laws of physics.
One of these barriers is that all lenses are a diffraction-limited system.This simply defines how there is a limit to how small of an area you can focus light on. On a very small scale, light behaves strangely and interferes with itself. Especially passing through glass or other transparent materials.
You get a phenomenon called airy discs. To get around this, you have to make the sensor and lens bigger. Essentially, each pixel on the sensor needs to be bigger than the smallest possible airy disc in order for it not to "leak" onto the pixel beside it. Enlarging the device is a challenge, well, at least it is with a device sitting directly on your eyeball.
Similar to the above challenges, it is very hard to make an ultra-small lens that is able to focus at a close distance while also letting you focus far away. This is the reason why you cannot put your finger directly on the camera on your phone and see your own fingerprints. At least not while also seeing a sharp background.In the case of an AR-contact lens, the display is not even sitting right on top of the lens - but inside it. Maintaining a sharp display of the AR-content, filling your field of vision while maintaining sharpness of your surroundings is close to, if not impossible.
In order to provide a full augmented reality experience, you also need to track the users head relative to the real world. With the absence of external sensors, you would have to have cameras inside the lens to provide computer vision for inside-out-tracking. This is extremely difficult to do with today's available technology on such a small scale.Even if that would be possible, the problem remains that the actual display part of the lens is too small to move the images around your eye. This would have to follow your eye, and rather than feeling like its floating in the world, it would feel like you had text fixed on a stick, that is then fixed to your eye.
Moores Law predicted that the density of transistors in a circuit would roughly double every two years. For many decades, this prediction has been remarkably accurate.However, the transistors we spoke about earlier in the article is approaching atom size. At some point in the not so distant future, we will no longer be able to make them smaller. Making electronics smaller is, therefore, going to be a lot harder and is currently unknown territory. With the slow evolution of batteries, the need for wireless transmitters and cameras. It is going to be a very tough job to actually build this into a contact lens in a safe way.
In conclusion, I would predict that full-fledged AR-contact lenses are not likely to even get close to working within the next 10 years. You might get a heads up display and some small information like text or small images, but - that's it.
With that said, would love for Mojo Vision to prove us wrong!