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A Computer Display in Ordinary Sunglasses?

Cliff posted more than 12 years ago | from the bet-you've-been-waiting-for-these dept.

Hardware 182

DonaldP asks: "I've been making head-mounted displays for wearable computers for a couple or three years now; I think my latest and greatest 3rd Generation display is a big step ahead! It fits inside a normal-looking pair of sunglasses. Why would I do something like this? As far as I know, this is one of the only ones available out there - the only others that come close are made by MicroOptical Corporation, but it's been years and you STILL can't actually BUY any of their products. With large companies like Xybernaut holding plenty of patents on wearable computers and going strong, is there a place for my little one-man company? Any tips for making it on my own? Or is my best hope to hook up with a giant?" I've been waiting for a nice and portable HMD for years, and this has the advantage of not making you look like a Borg reject (although some of you might like that look). HMDs still have a way to go to be practical for everyday use (many still require perfect vision or contacts because they are clumsy with glasses) but I'm sure these drawbacks will be fixed with time.

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beware! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394231)

gay flu abounds!

I need a display (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394316)

...that fit's snugly in here! []

Dangers of GoatSex (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394401)

here we are talking about sunglasses and important topics namely this [] one go unannounced.

Apparently a man has died from pulmonary anthrax. He contracted this horrible infection from sniffing a cows bum.
This is a sad case and hilights the dangerous of animal sex, a sport dear to many Slashdot readers.

Re:beware! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394317)

I wipe my ass with the Koran.

It's Friday and I feel horny (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394336)

Are there any well hung shemales out there who want to fuck my bitchy little ass?

Start small... (5, Insightful)

ryanwright (450832) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394233)

Start small. Make a few of 'em by hand, make sure they all work, and sell them on EBay. Create a nice business oriented web site and link to it in your EBay listings. Research traditional marketing priciples and apply them. A catchy domain name helps, too.

This is something you could start now for very little $$. Trying to find someone to manufacture these things en masse would be a pain in the ass and likely require a huge investment. I say, make them all by hand for a couple of years until you are so flooded with orders that you just can't keep up. Then take it to the next step.

Re:Start small... (4, Insightful)

dstone (191334) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394375)

I say, make them all by hand for a couple of years until you are so flooded with orders that you just can't keep up. Then take it to the next step.

That's good advice, unless you find it turns to a nightmare of technical support, repairs, warranty, and eyesight-loss/seizure-related lawsuits that become too much to handle yourself. Then you'll have take it to the next level. ;-) Okay, maybe that's a bit cynical. It sounds like you're onto something good with your device, so I guess what I'm saying is don't let a good idea starve or die because you didn't pay attention to boring/annoying (but important) details that you could have farmed out to someone else (even if that means spending money, giving away equity, revenue sharing, whatever).

Re:Start small... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394436)

Yes, I think there is a bright future for you and your company if the whole world turns into pathetic geeks who can't speak, only email.

Otherwise, no.

...then get posted to Slashdot... (3, Interesting)

David Gould (4938) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394484)

You should also try and figure out a way to get your page posted someplace where it'll be seen by about a quarter-million geeks who've been dreaming of something like this for at least ten years.

Seriously, at $1500 a pop, limited to 320x240 greyscale, and with a 2-month waiting list [] (and that was presumably before today), I'd guess that you're not quite at the point where every single one of us will buy one, but even so, you probably did just secure at least a few orders. (It'd be interesting if you'd post back in a few days with the results.) The sweet spot would probably be if you could hit 640x480 and at least 8-bit color without going too far over $600.

Still, this is already pretty nice -- I'd call myself "tempted", but not quite "seriously tempted", as it is; definitely interested enough to keep an eye on your progress. The price point is probably more important than the features: I'd be more likely to buy it as it is if you got the price down than at the current price if you got the features up.

Good luck.

One woman went deep sea fishing with 5 guys (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394516)

And came back with a big red snapper.

Apple's future's so bright (2, Interesting)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394234)

In 1987, I saw an Apple video (taking place in the future, intended to be a nostalgic review of Apple's past) where Woz wore a paper of MacGlasses, complete with tiny disks that inserted into the side of the frame (shades of the MMC/SD crads) - pretty cool, too bad it didn't happen. (The video also had a newsacst where IBM announced their latest main frames were compatible with teh Apple 3000 series mainframe.

Re:Apple's future's so bright (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394265)

Does anyone know where such a video might be found that would be awesome to watch.

New interface, old app (1)

mr_don't (311416) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394238)

When i think of wearables, I usually think of high tech VR interfaces to new, unheard of apps... But it's nice to see PINE running on these glasses!!!

consult (2, Funny)

Beckman (136138) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394239)

If you send me a pair and pay my fee, I'll give you a consultation.


Re:cock suck (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394287)

You can come here and suck my cock

Re:consult (2)

unitron (5733) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394424)

Here's a free consultation

1. Make sure all the words on your page are spelled correctly. (re-intruduction )

2. Don't seek investors until you have completed Step 1.

Seriously, it's an impressive product. Promote it professionally.

Input (3, Interesting)

KernelHappy (517524) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394243)

As cool as these kinds of displays are, how do you input data? I mean voice recognition is nice, but there is the problem of privacy, annoying other people and if I recall most people don't think as effectively while speaking outloud (heh kind of obvious).

Solve the man/machine interface and you won't need to make the displays.

Re:Input (2)

reverius (471142) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394296)

How about rings (on each finger) that can detect vertical and horizontal movement... which would then be used to function as a keyboard (with whatever "keymap" you like). Different existing keymaps can be used, like QWERTY and Dvorak, or entirely new ones can be made (with the possibilities that a "virtual keyboard" presents...)

Re:Input (1)

naasking (94116) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394328)

How about rings (on each finger) that can detect vertical and horizontal movement.

hehe. So what command would flipping the birdie be? :-)

Re:Input (2, Funny)

Edgewize (262271) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394352)

hehe. So what command would flipping the birdie be? :-)

I don't know about the linux crowd, but any Windows user knows that the middle finger just has to be CTL-ALT-DEL :)

Re:Input (1)

Aldreis (262637) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394312)

You could use one of these [] , I think. It's "A combination keyboard and mouse that weighs 4 ounces and fits in the palm of your hand."

Re:Twiddler2 (2, Informative)

dav (5309) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394357)

I've been looking at these for awhile now, and decided after following that link to purchase one.

But I got a bit nervous when I checked the security certificate information for their SSL connection like I always do, and noticed it was some other webiste I'd never heard of.

Well that could just be their purchasing service, but just to be safe I decided to call their listed phone number (631) 474-4405 and that turned out to be no longer valid. I didn't call the new number given yet; I know I'm paranoid, and frankly I like it that way, but does anyone know if this is the legit link?

Re:Twiddler2 (2, Informative)

Aldreis (262637) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394366)

does anyone know if this is the legit link?

Try this [] . Apparently they're moving right now.

Re:Input (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394497)

Actually, you just don't know how muddy their thinking is until they speak.

Tip #1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394246)

Disregard anyones advice that includes "Don't get a patent, open up the design so that anyone can manufacture these glasses. You can make a lot of money supporting them. After all, you designed them, you are the go-to-guy for support!"

I were my sunglasses at night (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394249)

So I can,
so I can,
read Slashdot and other nerd websites.

Re:I were my sunglasses at night (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394280)


Sell them to the government (1)

CuriousGeorge113 (47122) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394262)

I wonder if the US goverenment would have a need for sungalsses with small displays in them.

If not them, then at least Holywood ;)

Re:Sell them to the government (1)

superpeach (110218) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394333)

Of course they would have a use for them, being able to browse porn sites more discreetly for one thing.

Mann (1)

H3XOR (525026) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394263)

You should try and contact Steven Mann. I think he was a one many army and pioneered some of the first wearable computer components.

Mann already did this (3, Informative)

s20451 (410424) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394309)

Check out Steve Mann's web page [] , which has a picture of him wearing his display sunglasses. Not shown in the scene is the waist pack which holds the hardware, and the clever one-hand "keyboard" he uses for data entry. I've seen him walking around campus wearing it; he even teaches a graduate course [] at the University of Toronto on the subject. Very cool.

Also see this paper [] at [] .

Re:Mann already did this (1)

nanospook (521118) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394451)

World's first gargoyle!!!!

oh no.... (2, Insightful)

Prion86 (463800) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394264)

and we thought it was bad when all we had to deal with was bad drivers and cell phones...

Re:oh no.... (2)

corky6921 (240602) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394526)

Yes, I can see it now:

SCENE: the courtroom. A large lady is waving her arms madly. A skinny guy with glasses and unkempt hair is trying not to look scared of her.

LADY: You wrecked my car and killed my 3-year-old! (points to Exhibit A)

GEEK: Really, ma'am, I was just trying to check my email during the traffic jam... I got these cool new sunglasses and they run Pine...

GEEK sighs, realizing the situation is hopeless...

Looks like... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394267)

I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

Didn't IBM have a commercial... (1)

dafoomie (521507) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394268)

Didn't IBM have a commercial with this guy in a park ordering stocks with something like that? It could just be a concept/prototype or total bs from them, but I liked it... Looked like one of those eye things the Dominion use.

Re:Didn't IBM have a commercial... (1)

eeyanduf (143974) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394327)

IBM have had a wearable prototype for years - I think I first saw it back in 1998.
The first version was a stripped out thinkpad 560, running at between 100-200Mhz (cant remember exactly - my memory is failing with advancing age), using an IBM microdrive for storage (and to reduce size.) I think it had a 320x240 monochrome screen.
I remember they had souped this up to an 800x600 colour screen in a later version.

The unit didnt have a keyboard - just a trackpoint mouse mounted on your finger to be operated by your thumb, and a kind of 'trigger' mouse button, along with a mic for voice commands.
If I remember correctly, it was envisioned for engineer types to look up plans and diagrams whilst working on the machinery. eg. a jet engine technician could call up a schematic and have it superimposed on the actual parts of the engine as he was working on it.

heres a link I dug up

Re:Didn't IBM have a commercial... (1)

dafoomie (521507) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394380)

Wow, thanks, I like it... Could take the display and stick it on a Crusoe or something smallish but good. I could see it as being extremely useful for what they intended and for other stuff (stuff we want it for), but if you want it to be two eyes then it might look like Geordi's visor. Though, they probably have no intention of putting these into production. Oh well.

nefarious and otherwise. (5, Interesting)

motherhead (344331) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394269)

"Why would I do with something like this?"

Hmmm, I have private investigator friends (insurance fraud, they don't get to carry guns and drive Ferraris) that would love a pair of completely innocuous shades that would let them point say... a video camera in a suitcase one way while they are looking elseware.

We actually had a discussion about this the other day, wondering if you could do it wireless and have the antenna and power pack/receiver disguised as a "sports loop".

I would like this same rig because I am just plain a Bad Person ;}

Re:nefarious and otherwise. (2)

infiniti99 (219973) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394506)

...wondering if you could do it wireless...

Hey maybe there are some uses for x10 [] equipment after all! But hurry! This sale ends tomorrow even though it will be on sale again the next day!

(Ducks to avoid a popup ad)

isn't it bad for your eyes? (4, Interesting)

RelliK (4466) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394272)

Is there an optometrist on /. who can answer this question? (year right!) Staring at an object so close to your eyeballs can't be good. Wouldn't it strain your eyes a lot more than conventional monitor?

it's all in the optics (4, Interesting)

Tekmage (17375) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394305)

The focal point is actually far in front of you. On my unmodified M1, I have to wear my glasses (I'm near-sighted) to read the display.

Re:isn't it bad for your eyes? (1)

Ian_Bailey (469273) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394342)

Once you get 3D working (dual lenses and all), you could make the display as if it was a 100 m tall display that was 50 m away, or however you would want it.

Re:isn't it bad for your eyes? (1)

DahGhostfacedFiddlah (470393) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394384)

That wouldn't change the fact that you'd have to focus your eyes a whole lot closer...try putting your hand right in front of your face and focusing on it with just one eye. Hopefully these things contain some way to change the focal point.

Re:isn't it bad for your eyes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394398)

You don't understand the concept then. You're looking at light. This is just like standing right next to a glass window and looking out. Is it bad for your eyes standing too close to a window and looking outside?

Re:isn't it bad for your eyes? (1)

DahGhostfacedFiddlah (470393) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394412)

From what I understand, that's comparable to looking through the glasses at the light coming through the lenses. But the image on the lenses would be comparable to something written on the window in marker - see-through, but visible. It's harder for an individual eye to focus on something that close.

Re:isn't it bad for your eyes? (1)

Ian_Bailey (469273) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394425)

While that is how this technology is based, combining two lenses with some clever software could trick your eyes into seeing something that seemed farther away.

Re:isn't it bad for your eyes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394521)

It's not an object, it's an image. An image can be deconvoluted in software so that you need to focus through it for it to come into focus [if you see what I mean] - i.e. it can be calibrated so that you need to focus any given distance away. You could even have different layers that come into focus at different distances.

You rock. (1)

Fixer (35500) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394277)

So, wearable output has an apparently decent solution. Now for input. Have you looked at doing something like this? [] Or perhaps offer a Twiddler [] with your other parts for sale?

I like the Xybernaut's design, yet it's price is beyond my means (and I'm usually an early adopter of geek chic). If you could offer just a few more components for sale, or a construction service, that's competitive with the big guys, I think you could make a decent living. As a previous poster mentioned, Ebay works.

Why would I do this? (1)

WillSeattle (239206) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394279)

Oh, I don't know.

Maybe to make money and not scare off the chicks when they notice that you've got a webcam on your shoes?

ROBERT FROST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394281)

likes goats

Is this like IBM's commercial? (2)

antdude (79039) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394294)

With the guy sitting outside with pigeons on the ground and he talks to himself with his sunglasses? I am not sure if the commercal was made by IBM.

Re:Is this like IBM's commercial? (2)

unitron (5733) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394435)

Well it was probably made by a production company for IBM, but it was an IBM commercial. The glasses were more like tinted lens regular glasses than sunglasses.

All this.... (1)

Ian_Bailey (469273) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394295)

And they only cost $1500 US and take 4-10 weeks. Not bad considering they aren't even mass-produced!
Purchase a 3rd Generation HMD []

naming and apple (1)

Maskirovka (255712) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394300)

Just be carefull not to market your glasses as generation 3. I believe Apple has a G3 trademark, and would be more than happy to sue you.

Never Again (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394306)

My experience wearing a computer was not very comfortable. That 19 inch ViewSonic was a real pain in the neck. The backpack frame holding the Dell Dimension dug into my shoulders. Also, I kept tripping over the keyboard and mouse cables while kicking along the Honda generator.

maybe a conversion kit (1)

freonfighter (525849) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394307)

what if you sold a conversion kit for turning your own sunglasses into a HMD?

Barriers to entry into the hardware market (5, Interesting)

hillct (230132) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394313)

While the covert HMD is a really neat spiffy product, the bariers to entry into the hardware market are quite high. In order to compete you'll need to be able to finance production operations (the easy part) and incur substancial legal expenses to insure that none of the many wearable computing patents - mentioned as being held by large players in this market - apply to your hardware, and in the event that some can ce construed to apply, you'll need to handle licensing which will probably be at great expense as well. Furthermore, although the SSSCA will probably not add requirements to your hardware but given the current legislative enviroment, similar legislation that would apply, might appear at any moment. As we all know - the wearable computer maker has not reached mass aceptance yet so without sufficient customer base for the computing hardware, the market for the display hardware - normally some percentage of the market for the compute platform - will be extremely small, regardless of how cool the hardware is. For these reasons I'd recommend considering licensing your hardware to a larger player in the market. While you won't derive nearly as much revenue as if you marketed the product yourself, the revenue you collect will be predictable and will be recieved within a timeframe (and I'm making an assumption about Anubis Enterprises) acceptable for small businesses to maintain solvency.


Some questions... (5, Insightful)

Ian_Bailey (469273) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394315)

Although I think this technology is very cool, I think a key thing missing is the lack of a video camera. While he does mention that this drastically increases the size, it would make this technology MUCH more useful.

There is some usefulness for these sorts of displays (heads-up current information like current stock quotes for example), without some new input device to control such a radically different gadget from what we are used to. Somehow I don't see people 10 years from now running pine off to the side!

While perhaps some kind of hand-pad would be a good short-term compromise (What do people think should be hooked up to one of these, maybe a Handspring Expansion?), the most intuitive and relevant inputs would be voice and/or sight recognition.

Imagine searching a crowd for a friend. You say aloud, "Where's Paul?" and this baby runs a face-pattern recognition algorithm to help you... Just a thought ;-)

Re:Some questions... (1)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394552)

"....I think a key thing missing is the lack of a video camera. While he does mention that this drastically increases the size, it would make this technology MUCH more useful. "

Yes, imagine it. i could use the camera to project an image of what im looking at right in front of my own eye!!!

Incinerate Muslims. Burn, Muslim, Burn! Destroy! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394318)

Our precious dead cry out for vengeance:
  1. Kill all Muslims.
  2. KillallMohammedans.
  3. Kill all Arabs.
  4. Kill all Towel Heads.
  5. Kill all Camel Jockeys.
  6. Kill all Dune Coons.
  7. Kill all Islam.
  8. Nuke their countries to hell.
  9. Nuke them again.
  10. Death to Islam.

I piss on Mecca. I shit on the Koran. I spit on Mohammed.

Be aware (-1, Troll)

The_Messenger (110966) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394329)

Here is a complimentary Truthelfish translation of this "news" item.
Ask Slashdot: Free advertising?
Posted by Moron on Friday October 05, @06:32PM
from the bet-you've-been-waiting-for-these dept.

Lamer [] asks: I have recently developed an exciting new product. I would like to either sell the product directly, or sell its design to MicroOptical Corporation [] for many dollars. However, publicity is expensive, and unfortunately, I have little funds left after spending my monthly paycheck on child pornography. Would you be so kind as to direct several hundred thousand of your hacker-wannabe, 15 year-old readers toward my site? Even if the hits don't help me, perhaps I can persuade a few readers into an underage-sex orgy. It's unnecessary to mention that if we "editors" had the brains of a hampster, we wouldn't fall for this crap, but you can't blame us -- we run Linux, after all. ;-)

Thank you for your time. For more information about Truthelfish, come on out of the closet. Hemos, we're talking to you.

Re:Be aware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394454)


+5 Correct

Another Edition of Ad Slashdot! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394332)

How much did you have to pay for this story to be posted? I need some buzz for VC investors.

oh my god (1)

Myopic (18616) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394334)

oh my god this guy is going to make a million dollars

Re:oh my god (2)

rtaylor (70602) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394395)

Too bad that leaves him about 3 Million short of covering the design, licencing, legal and production costs.

Discussion: Software? (1)

Ian_Bailey (469273) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394338)

Just thinking aloud, what does everyone think would be the best operating software to run on an interface like this?

Personally, I think the coolest thing would be if the glasses implemented an immersive translucent 3D workstation sort of like the ones in the Final Fantasy movie. Then place little sensors on your fingernails as described here [] . Some kind of radio sensor network (I know it's not a trivial thing to do) could detect when you pressed a certain virtual button, and run programs, display data, etc.

I think playing with something like that would be sweet. The funny thing would be that all the people walking or sitting would be waving their hands around like they were conducting an orchestra. :-)

Re:Discussion: Software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394494)

what does everyone think would be the best operating software to run on an interface like this?

Whatever it is, I want it to be open. That way, I can modify my copy, so that whenever I see na adverstisement, the system replaces it with "Obey" or "Sleep" like in that movie. []

Steps to success... (4, Funny)

KFury (19522) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394341)

It's all about publicity. The first thing you need to do is dupe^H^H^H^Hconvince Slashdot editors that your idea is cool, real, and one VC funding round away from changing the world as they know it.

Wearables ... (3, Interesting)

zangdesign (462534) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394343)

Three questions:

I wear prescription glasses. Would this cause any problems?

Is it possible to use this with a Windows-based computer? (Don't freak out - I have my reasons and they are valid ones)

Can you drop the price a hair?

Seriously, I can foresee a great number of uses for this. I would suggest you go for it, but hire a patent lawyer to do some research for you. There's probably a ton of prior art on this by other companies, but there might be some government research you can base off of.

Anyway, good luck and all.

Re:Wearables ... (1)

Ian_Bailey (469273) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394349)

I wear glasses too, and I don't know the answer to your first question.

As for your second question, the device appears to be the display only. So I believe that once it's working properly, you could plug any old monitor cable into it.

As for your third question, I don't think the price is that bad! Especially when you compare it to some flat-screen monitors.

Wow (1)

nexex (256614) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394351)

Those are sweet, now all I need is a comp that will fit in your pocket - and run a decent amount of time between charges, and internet that will go anywhere that is affordable...

Re:Wow (1)

wyrmBait (19085) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394379)

You mean something like this [] ?

Okay, so it's not "pocket sized" according to the article, but I'm sure there are lots of possibilities out there. The fact that this one is so well equipped in the I/O department just caught my eye.

Re:Wow (0, Offtopic)

wyrmBait (19085) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394387)

Why the heck did Slashcode decide it necessary to add "[]" there?

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394410)

It's a feature of Slash 2.2. You can turn it off in your user preferences.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394441)

They (the evil Slashdot dictators) implemented this 'feature' some time ago. It's rather amusing that after all the fuss the /bots made about things like SmartTags (modifications of content, controlled by the user), hardly anyone has complained about this alteration of comments, not controlled by the user.

Possible uses and how to make progress (1)

Ben Wills (516441) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394358)

Perhaps something of this nature could be used to instruct a large group of people....i could see a refined version of this used by the government to inform agents in real time in certain operations....

as far as where to go with something like this...if you really wanted to take the idea commercial, and you have a lower cash flow, you may want to consider "partnering" with a company that can either benefit from your product, or a company that can make your product better(or vice versa)....


Here's a "Why" for you (2, Interesting)

deenie (40390) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394363)

I think it's called "Retinitus Pigmentosa."
A friend of a friend of mine is gradually losing his sight to it. Apparently he can still see just a limited area at the center of his former field of vision. But he still uses the comuter (and watched the WTC collapse).

If the "eye strain" objection cited elsewhere isn't a factor, something like this might at least return a full view of the computer screen (and then, movies? live video feed?

Re:Here's a "Why" for you (2, Informative)

brocheck (59415) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394390)

Retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited condition of the retina in which specific photoreceptor cells degenerate, thusly it becomes increasingly more difficult to see in dim light.

It is not caused by "eye strain", but by a specific mutation in the rhodopsin gene.

My cat hates you.

Re:Here's a "Why" for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394563)

Retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited condition of the retina in which specific photoreceptor cells degenerate, thusly it becomes increasingly more difficult to see in dim light.

It is not caused by "eye strain", but by a specific mutation in the rhodopsin gene.

Right, but generally people with low vision conditions of any kind want to avoid eyestrain. Besides, eyestrain from this baby, plus the constant eystrain from dealing with RP would cause one hell of a headache. So I can see how that would be a concern. But if this thing can be adapted for use in a limited visual feild, without causing extra eyestrain, it could make a realy nice device.

hmmmm.... maybe I could even have my left side peripheral vision pretend to be normal ;-)

More tech to aid low vision (1)

SlyDe (247694) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394433)

RP and many other diseases of the retina are very good reasons to keep an eye (no pun intended) on this and similar projects. Here are a few good resources for other types of low-vision coping technology:

autofocus eyewear [] []
the Jordy [] [] (yes, trek-inspired!)
wire a camera to your brain [] []
artificial retina [] []

Concept for VR Navigation (3, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394367)

Something I have considered for quite awhile (Back in '94!) is how to get around in virtual worlds. The solution I came up with is by no means 'true VR', but instead aims to be natural. The idea is that you have a platform a couple inches thick by about 8 feet square. (The size could change depending on what is most comfortable for the majority of people.) The platform would then be divided up like this:


|\ /|
| \___/ |
| | | |
| |___| |
| / \ |


The user would normally stand on the center square. Each of the divisions ahead, behind, to the left, and to the right represents a direction that the user may wish to go. While in the virtual world, all the user has to do to move forward, is to take a single step forward onto the division in front of him. Similarly the division behind him would cause him to back up. The left and right would strafe.

The left and right could potentially be a 'turn' as it is in most FPS, but I fealt that the turning should rather be handled by the HMD (say via a Boom Tracker) due to the fact that side stepping is a more natural result to taking a step left and moving your head is a more natural 'turn' motion.

Anyway, that was my idea and since I don't have the time to build it, I'm sharing it with everyone here. A tip on building tho. It would probably be easiest to take a cheapo gamepad and strip it out for its interface. That way the electronics and software will be compatible with existing and future programs.

If anyone builds one of these things, I'd love to hear about it. Shoot me a mail at:

Just remove the NOSPAM.

Re:Concept for VR Navigation (1)

FrenZon (65408) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394404)

Maybe you're looking for something like the NES Powerpad [] ?

Or any of the dance-pads available for the PSX?

Cool (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394427)

I never know that NES made a pad similar to the design I laid out. I'd always known about the 'twister' style pad, but all that had was a 'sprint race' game and an arobics game. Of course the NES hardware was always way ahead of its software with the Power Glove being the crowning example. (I still have the RS232 interface I built for that thing.)

I've seen the dance pads in the arcades and I assume that those are similar to the PSX ones. The problem with the 'plunger' design is that you have to make sure you hit the target. When you are in a VR world, you would have trouble with such a design, whereas actual platforms would provide both a large target and feedback by dropping a little (either a 1/2 inch drop or a satifying click like on a mouse).

Re:Concept for VR Navigation (2)

psych031337 (449156) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394540)

I've seen something like you described advertised on german TV. It was an add-on for Playstation games (and will probably be available for other consoles).

It consisted basically of the platform you described (it came in form of a "mat" with sensors, so it could be easily rolled together for storage). It also had the different field for going standing still/going forward/backing up/left/right. Additional to that were two poles standing upright on the front part of the mat. These poles sported some IR sensors.

The purpose of this thingamajig (retailing for about 200Marks, which comes down to $90) was adding reality to "beat-em-up" games like Mortal Combat. Using the map fields you could go forwards and backwards. The IR sensors on the poles would detect your fist/arm "punching". Also it could distinguish between arm and leg usage (probably by using a dedicated sensor circuit for each foot). Also high and low kicks could be done, and a slight jump (with you just leaving the floor for some inches) onto the fore/aft pads would trigger a jump in the game.

I am sure this thing is available in the US as well.

Palm HMD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394438)

I have been looking everywhere for an HMD I can connect to my Palm. does anybody make something like this?

/.'d (0, Redundant)

kalanar (469957) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394443)

Google Cache to main page (not all about the glasses) []

Related []

Front Page of Glasses page.

This is a third generation covert HMD display. Through these sunglasses, I have a monochrome 320x240 VGA display superimposed right in front of me. I can see normally. If I were looking at you, I would see a computer screen floating over your face, centered on your nose.

My first generation displays were crude and bulky in comparison - but many of my first generation displays also contained a video camera in addition to the display.

The second generation displays were much improved and incorporated a beam splitter (half-silvered mirror) into the design rather than a front-silvered optical mirror. The main lens was also customized.

The third generation design fits well in my sunglasses and is more rugged, smaller in overall dimensions, and has custom parts for everything - including the backlight for the display itself.

The third generation covert display is also a leap forward in appearance. Previous generations either required oversized safety glasses to house the display, or had pieces or wires very exposed. The third generation display looks almost completely normal from the front as well as from the side that houses the display. The single thin, flexible black cable - easily concealed - is the biggest hint there is more than meets the eye!

A look through the glasses

This is what it looks like to look through the glasses. Here you can see the "pine" mail program running while I look at my good friend Jack Daniels. This is an actual unedited (but cropped) picture taken with a digital camera through the display. It sees what your eye would see. (The white bar at the bottom is a video artifact due to the modeline I was using to supply the video signal)

The display itself uses a beamsplitter to reflect the image into your eye. The unique properties allow it a "see-though" effect (demonstrated in the following links with a second-generation display) that makes the reflector display an image when the unit is powered on, and appear transparent when the display is off.


So, what is next? Right now there is no immediate path forward to a fourth-generation display, but it will doubtlessly incorporate one or several of the following advances:

Higher resolution
Even smaller optical assembly
re-intruduction of embedded video camera

The ultimate display would be able to fit unnoticed in a regular pair of untinted eyeglasses.

YES! I build third-generation displays for people! I don't have the info on the web yet, so please email me if you are interested!

You can also take a quick look at my For Sale page, where I currently have services listed for building Second-Generation displays.

Getting there (1)

Ryvar (122400) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394444)

This looks great for a nice wearable SSH2 session, but the bulk of my time (and that of the majority of people using computers, I'd think) is spent digging around the web or using tools of fairly high resolution demands in Win2k (3D Studio MAX, Photoshop, MSDEV, etc.).

If you manage to get it to 1600x1200x32x85hz and retain the general physical characteristics of current models, I'll pay as much as/kill whomever you wish for one. Using an RSI 'cast' to gauntlet-mount a Half Keyboard on one hand and a 4D mouse on the other in combination with one of those tiny stripped down Celery 700 boxes, I'm pretty much set.


Video Camera (1)

nanospook (521118) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394449)

Do you want the video camera put in the 4th gen so you can pick up eye signals to control the computer? Blink twice rapidly to close window...

Umm I was wearing a full color version 2 years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394453)

Ummm this is older than my grandma and she codes in cobol! I was working with stuff smaller and better than this 2 years ago. DUH! :B

Re:Umm I was wearing a full color version 2 years (2)

Zorkon (121860) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394481)

Yes, you were. And you (if you actually paid for your toy and it wasn't company property) paid at least $6k for it.

There are, unfortunately, very few wearable HMD systems that are discrete and don't make you look like a reject from the Collective. ;)

Security Field (1)

Dakisha (526733) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394455)

A good market for this could be security. Combine a HMD with some form of wearable PDA or 'small' laptop (It doesn't need to be anything high tech, a secure strap/backpack), set it up with wireless networking and you could beam images from security cameras to the users sunglasses/goggles. A 'button', 'pad' or custom trackball style device could be used to navigate between cameras. This would be a niche market admittedly, but I'm sure various uses could be thought of for such a device.. Open for thoughts..

Come to Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394470)

Most of those pattents are only legal in the US, you could come to Europe, produce them and seel them in a web site.

*Obviously* this is for *Cell Phones*! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394474)

Listen you! You've got a *great* application for cell phone usage. Think - Cars & Cell Phone = Accidents. Whats the solution? Use a Monitor Glasses to help a person dial a number which is the most difficult part of the conversation.
Also, Japan is coming out with Video Cell Phones. What about that? Plug the glasses into a cell phone!

Complete wearable (2, Interesting)

moebius_4d (26199) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394489)

The picture for wearable fans is getting steadily better. Consider an Ipaq with wireless package, pcmcia video card, IBM 1Gb Microdrive, a Twiddler2, and one of these HMDs. The specs to hook up a Twiddler2 are already out there. You run linux from here [] and you're all set.

Well, maybe you might want another battery :)

Sure it has a redundant screen. I used to hate that idea. But now I realize that it just means I can still use the machine in situations where the wearable is not appropriate (like the beach) or when I've already taken it off.

Every year these little handhelds get more powerful and the peripheral market around them gets richer. I think this is the critical mass that will finally allow the normal (non-EE) person to put together usable and powerful wearables. The HMD is really the missing link.

Just as an aside, I wrote the author about modifying my own M1 to his first-gen sunglasses hack some time ago, and he refused to do the job (for money, I mean) because he felt that his current design required too much "tuning" for each person's ergos. I guess he's licked that problem, and it's nice to know that some people really aren't just in it for the money. He's a good guy.

A few applications (3, Insightful)

horza (87255) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394517)

Yes the input device is problematic, but ignoring this and plugging it into a pack with hard drive think of the applications:
  • pop up map of the area when walking around trying to find the place you are supposed to be having a meeting. Using GPS the map scrolls and stays centered on you
  • watch videos whilst sitting on the Tube instead of just listening to MP3s
  • discretely pull up information on items during an auction preview so as not to show you are interested in bidding
  • get GREAT marks in those exams
  • sun, sea, sand, shades... and email! Heaven
  • bored with making love to the same woman? Superimpose Nicole Kidmans face
  • Who Wants to be a Millionaire*

Ok, it's getting late. Will stop there.

* gameshow, for those that don't know it.


Privacy? (1)

ruszka (456169) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394527)

How exactly does the display work? What would someone see looking at the glasses from in front of you? I have no knowledge in the whole beamsplitting, reflection thing so you'll have to excuse me :P but would it be possible someone could use a similar device directed toward the glasses that could "steal" or capture what's being displayed? or do the glasses have some sort of protective 'coating' (not sure on a good term) that would prevent this?

PDA Application? (2, Interesting)

MikeyNg (88437) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394546)

How about if you could figure a way to work this with a PDA? The resolution and lack of color would seem to work well with a Palm OS guy. You'd have to work on the interface a bit, but it'd be relatively cool to have your address book handy right where you could see it. You could scribble notes to yourself while walking down the street and what not. HMD+PDA+Expedia = easy navigation, or a quick car crash. (You get my point, though.) Combine your HMD with the black and white Clie's with the jog dial, and you may be able to sell some. Especially to those tech-crazy Japanese.

The Eye Strain Problem (2, Informative)

spiro_killglance (121572) | more than 12 years ago | (#2394572)

The main problem with a computer display in
glasses is as discussed above eye strain.

Imagine an standard but small LCD display in
front of your eye. To focus on it, is the same
as focusing on any object 2 cm away from you
eye, downright impossible unless your extremely
short sighted. This is easy to fix you put a
lens in front of the LCD so that to correctly everything
is focused at infinity or maybe 20 feet away,
i.e. your
eye has to focus as if the image was at infinity or 20 feet. But this is still is not good enough.

The eye (and brain) is built to be continously
focusing on different objects at different depths,
and keeping it locked at in single focal depth for
very long produces eye strain. Worse still is that
if your viewing a 3d image, the parallex clues the brain gets to what distance an object is
at, have nothing to with what depth the eye has
to focus at, and this could cause further problems
with eye strain, that you wouldn't normally get
just by staring somewhere for a long period of time.

True when you look around a room you don't tend to
notice objects coming in and out of focus, but this is
in fact because the Brain uses the eye
to update the model of your surroundings and it
is this model you normally perceive.

Until someone can design a system that has
different virtual objects at different focal depths, eye strain will painfully prevent such
displays becoming popular consumer items.

MicroOptical's HUD *is* available (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2394604)

Although there is no "sales" page on their site, this is normal for a product in prototype stage which costs several thousand dollars. If you send them an email, they will be happy to inform you that their glasses are available, and range in price from $1500 to $2500.
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