The prototypes that scientists presented demonstrate how XPANCEO has managed to overcome the limitations associated with the thickness of the lens. The company has created components such as a micro projector, biosensors, and electronics that can be integrated into the lens, maintaining the device transparent, thin, and lightweight.


On December 6, the international deep tech company XPANCEO officially opened a laboratory in Dubai and publicly presented three intermediate prototypes of a revolutionary smart contact lens for the first time. Ultimately, the company aims to create a device as thin, invisible, and weightless as traditional lenses, seamlessly integrating AR, health monitoring, and supervision features.


Fitting a plethora of components needed for this project such as micro projectors, biosensors, and power electronics into a small, comfortable lens is a challenge. XPANCEO’s R&D team, uniting 40 scientists and engineers from leading universities and research centers worldwide, has moved away from traditional tech, utilizing novel low-dimensional materials as thin as an atom, advanced optics and nanophotonics, and transparent, flexible conductors. XPANCEO’s renowned research has placed it among the top 10 global corporate research institutes making it the top 1 in the UAE, according to the authoritative Nature Index ranking. Founded by entrepreneur Roman Axelrod and physicist Valentyn Volkov in 2021, XPANCEO has created three “first-in-the-world” prototypes in under 3 years.


“We are developing the next generation of computing, the ultimate device that merges all existing gadgets into one. It will allow one to use all apps and softwares in a single weightless interface. At the very least, it opens up a $790 billion Augmented Reality and Contact Lenses market,” —  says Roman Axelrod, Founder of XPANCEO.


In October, XPANCEO announced that it has received a $40 million investment from Opportunity Ventures (Asia), underscoring the pioneering nature of their technology. This funding not only allowed them to begin the work on combining the prototypes into a single device but also facilitated the construction of their cutting-edge laboratory, covering an expansive area of over 250 square meters.


The first prototype XPANCEO unveiled introduces the world’s first holographic lens. This device, with a resolution of 640×480 and a thickness of merely 0.2 millimeters, just like a human hair, displays images comparable to those previously possible only with glasses and full AR/VR headsets. Already showcasing a field of view comparable to traditional headsets, the lens has the potential to become the only gadget with an unlimited field of view.


A scientist experimenting with the holographic lens

The second prototype demonstrates the capability of creating small yet accurate biosensors suitable for lens integration. The current focus is on achieving high levels of detection to analyze the lacrimal fluid, constantly secreted in our eyes, facilitating the measurement of glucose, cortisol, and other hormone levels. Additionally, these sensors can measure vibrations or dimensional changes in the eye, corresponding to different levels of heart rate, moisture, or intraocular pressure.

The third prototype introduces a patent-pending technology of transparent and flexible conductors based on quasi-two-dimensional gold. These conductors, the thinnest in the world, enable the integration of various electronic components into the lens without sacrificing transparency, flexibility, or thinness. From power supply components to electrochemical sensors, this technology creates the platform for seamless integration of any details into the lens.

A scientist demonstrates a lens with integrated electronics. Courtesy of XPANCEO

“These developments clearly demonstrate the ability of XPANCEO to deliver the components needed for the smart contact lens creation. Now we are facing  a harder challenge of integrating them into a single device. We are confident that we can meet this challenge and plan to present the first prototype of the perfect smart contact lens by the end of 2026” –– concludes XPANCEO’s Co-founder, Dr. Valentyn Volkov.

Dr. Volkov demonstrating the holographic lens

About the company

XPANCEO is a deep tech company developing the next generation of computing via an invisible and weightless smart contact lens that is as natural to the wearer as their own vision. Our lens reinvents the whole concept of human-technology interaction and redefines the way we experience both real and digital worlds, including social media, content consumption, and gaming. Merging all your gadgets into one, the lens transforms the everyday into an infinite eXtended Reality experience, replete with advanced real-time health monitoring and comprehensive practical recommendations, superpowers like night vision and zoom, and cutting-edge privacy and security measures.  ​​