Innovega iOptik

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Innovega iOptik
Innovega 1.jpg
Category smartglasses
Developer Innovega Inc.
Announced 8 January 2013 [1]
Released Developers:
Price USD (unknown)
Operating system (unknown)
Display projector
Resolution 1280x720 pixels [2]
Field of view (unknown)
Weight g (unknown)


Data available low
Risk factor moderate

iOptik display system is a wearable system being developed by an US company Innovega Incorporated that combines smartglasses and smart contact lenses.[3] The goal of the company is to develop a device that does not have the need to have "the bulk of necessary eyewear optics" included in the frame of the glasses. The company states that this should achieve better performance[4] as well as enable manufacturers to create frames with more desirable designs.[5] By creating a fully transparent, Innovega aims to eliminate the social impact a device that blocks user's field of view may have.[6]

The company received a grant from the National Science Foundation in the Materials, manufacturing & robotics category in January 2014.[7] The company also received funding from DARPA in April 2012.[8] It was awarded the 2012 Invention Award by the Popular Science magazine.[9] Innovega informed that it will request filling for a 510(K) premarket clearance at the Food and Drug Administration U.S. federal agency in late 2014 or early 2015.[10] But as of 25 November 2015, no request from Innovega was recorded by the agency.

Main Characteristics

Innovega iOptik augmented reality contact lens close-up.
Innovega iOptik augmented reality contact lens schematic of function.

iOptik consists of glasses frame equipped with two projectors (one for each eye) and a pair of smart contact lenses. The user is supposed to put the lenses on and use them in conjunction with the glasses frame. The lenses are multi-layered and divide into two filters. The outer filter allow the light from the environment to pass through. While the inner filter, which is centred around the pupil, only allows the light from the projectors through.[9] The projected image has a resolution of 1280 by 720 pixels and Innovega aims at a field of view of 120 degrees.[2]


The purpose of iOptik is to blend together virtual and real world a and to offer a way to consume social media and to use virtual reality applications.

Company & People

Randall Sprague - founder, chief technical officer

Steve Willey - chief executive officer, director

Steve Schallhorn - clinical professor of ophthalmology, advisor

Jim Schwiegerling - professor of optical sciences and ophthalmology and vision sciences, advisor

Important Dates

January 2012 - Innovega showed the concept of their augmented reality contact lenses at CES 2012[11]

January 2013 - Innovega demoed a prototype of iOptik at CES 2013[1]

Ethical & Health Issues

There are no ethical or health issues connected to this particular device.


Innovega iOptik is marketed towards industrial and personal use. The US military issued an order on the augmented reality lenses from Innovega to test possible ways to enhance the capabilities of the soldiers.[12]

Public & Media Impact and Presentation

Because iOptik is still under development, the news coverage is limited to what the journalists could experience during the demonstrations at the exhibitions. The list of news articles present at Innovega's website links to articles reflecting on CES. More importantly, the articles linked are not recent. The latest one comes from an Indian publisher and came out in January 2014.

The overall reception of iOptik has been positive. Journalists praise Innovega for innovative approach, especially for the goal of creating smartglasses device that is lighter and not cumbersome compared to other similar devices. IEEE Spectrum article covering CES2014 on which Innovega showcased functioning prototypes praises the device in comparison with Google Glass and Oculus Rift which need "clunky optics" in order to display immersive information.[13] The author of the article said that iOptik "is everything that we've ever wanted." In an article on the Innovega's demonstration of the iOptik concept at CES2013, The Verge was not so positive. While it shares similar welcoming tone with the previously mentioned article, it also adds that "Half the system, to be sure, is a pair of the large, slightly goofy frames and lenses we've come to expect."[14] In the article on Innovega's planned presence on CES2014 also makes a comparison with Google Glass. The article conclusion states that iOptik is a unique approach that focuses more on inherent functionality rather than on what is available through downloadable applications.[10]

Public Policy

Because iOptik features contact lenses, it has to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration U.S. federal agency before it can enter the market.

Related Technologies, Projects, or Scientific Research

Innovega is involved with the he US Department of Defense on a project which goals is to investigate the potential of AR to enhance American soldiers.[12]


  1. 1.0 1.1 CES 2013: Innovega Demonstrates Wearable Transparent HUD. Innovega [online]. Innovega, Inc., 2013, 8 January. Available online at: (Retrieved 20 November 2015)
  2. 2.0 2.1
  3. Innovega Home Page
  4. Innovega Benefits Overview
  5. Innovega Benefits Compact and Stylish Design
  6. Innovega Benefits Transparent Optics
  7. Ideas in action at Eureka Park: NSF-supported consumer technology returns to Eureka Park at 2014 International CES®. National Science Foundation [online]. 2014, 2 January. Available online at: (Retrieved 16 November 2015))
  8. RICH, LJ. Dual-focus contact lens prototypes ordered by Pentagon. BBC News [online]. 2012, 13 April. Available online at: (Retrieved 16 November 2015)
  9. 9.0 9.1 BERNSTEIN, Joseph A. 2012 Invention Awards: Augmented-Reality Contact Lenses. Popular Science [online]. 2012, 5 June. Available online at: (Retrieved 16 November 2015))
  10. 10.0 10.1 STATT, Nick. Augmented-reality contact lenses to be human-ready at CES. CNET [online]. 2014, 3 January. Available online at: (Retrieved 27 November 2015))
  11. BISHOP, Todd. CES: Better augmented reality with high-tech contact lenses. GeekWire [online]. 2012, 11 January. Available online at: (Retrieved 20 November 2015)
  12. 12.0 12.1 BYFORD, Sam. Pentagon places order for iOptik dual focus augmented reality contact lenses. The Verge [online]. 2012, 12 April. Available online at: (Retrieved 27 November 2015))
  13. ACKERMAN, Evan. Innovega Delivers the Wearable Displays that Science Fiction Promised. IEEE Spectrum [online]. 2014, 9 January. Available online at: (Retrieved 27 November 2015)
  14. ROBERTSON, Adi. Innovega combines glasses and contact lenses for an unusual take on augmented reality. The Verge [online]. 2013, 10 January. Available online at: (Retrieved 27 November 2015))