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Dubai Startup Creates Iron Man-Style Smart Contact Lens

XPANCEO’s futuristic eyewear can be controlled using voice, gestures, glances, and “probably later, your mind”, according to the company’s founder.



dubai startup creates iron man style smart contact lens
Antonie Robertson / The National

Dubai-based tech startup XPANCEO has revealed prototypes of its smart contact lens system, which aims to mimic the technology used by Tony Stark in the famous Marvel Iron Man and Avengers movies.

After a seed funding round this October, the company has already raised $40 million and plans to put the device on the market by 2027 if human trials are successful.

xpanceo founder roman axelrod smart contact lens

Founder Roman Axelrod explained the motivation behind the project, saying, “Now, we have our laptops for the office, smartphones for daily activities, and smartwatches for training … a real computer of the future is an ecosystem of software. Think about it as a Tony Stark computer”.

xpanceo smart contact lens

XPANCEO has built three prototypes, offering an “infinite” extended reality view where tasks from documents, meetings, social media, and gaming will be shown in the user’s field of view and visible only to the wearer.

The lenses are powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning and will also include night vision, voice, gesture, and glance control. Mr. Axelrod even believes that later versions will be controlled by the user’s mind. The company is also developing a charging case similar to those used by wireless earbuds.

Also Read: A Guide To Digital Payment Methods In The Middle East

Ultimately, XPANCEO aims to replace all the devices consumers currently use with this hyper-miniaturized gadget. The company has yet to decide on a price for its smart contact lens, but “it has to be no more than an expensive smartphone”, Mr. Axelrod explained.

That would imply a four-figure sum in US dollar terms: for reference, the most expensive version of the iPhone 15 Pro Max is priced at $1,599.


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LEAP 2024 Will Shine A Light On Female Innovators In Technology

Women comprise nearly a third of the event’s speaker lineup alongside a dedicated program of high-level content, investment, and mentorship.



leap 2024 will shine a light on female innovators in technology

LEAP 2024, a premier global technology event, will highlight the achievements of women in the technology sector as it returns for its third edition at the Riyadh Exhibition and Convention Centre in Malham district from March 4 to 7.

Hosted by Tahaluf, a strategic collaboration between Informa PLC, the Events Investment Fund (EIF), and the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones (SAFCSP), LEAP 2024 will feature a dedicated program titled “Women in Tech”. The program will offer enriching content, investment opportunities, networking sessions, mentorship programs, and a special startup award.

leap 2024 event women in tech

The initiative aims to inspire women to actively participate in the technology industry, aligning with broader diversity efforts. Reflecting the Kingdom’s commitment to equality, the focus on “Women in Tech” coincides with the increasing female participation at LEAP events.

Annabelle Mander, Senior Vice President of Tahaluf, emphasized the event’s commitment to gender inclusivity, stating, “Female representation is across all of LEAP’s features and reflects the event’s mission of driving economic diversification and providing market access to international business. Within Tahaluf itself, half of our team members are women, and women make up half of our SMT, too”.

Also Read: Saudi Arabia Aims For 70% Cashless Transactions By 2025

The “Women in Tech” program will feature distinguished speakers including Nadine Hachach Haram, CEO and Founder of Proximie, and Sahar Albanarna from IMPACTIQUE Bahrain, who explained: “Over 26 million women worldwide with professional experience and degrees are not in the global workplace. This demographic includes a huge pool of untapped talent which technology can help unleash to fuel the co-creation of exponential solutions across multiple sectors. To help women access productive employment, we urge industry leaders to support high-impact female entrepreneurs as a means to boost their economies and accelerate the UN’s sustainable development goals by promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth”.

The event will also provide a platform for female-led startups and entrepreneurs to pitch for funding and support through various initiatives such as the Women’s Investor Forum, Entrepreneur Mentorship Scheme, and the Aviatrix Award at the Rocket Fuel pitch competition, offering a prize fund of US$150,000.

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