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Retinal-Scanning Screen Prototypes

CmdrTaco posted more than 12 years ago | from the well-it's-about-time dept.

Technology 193

Troed writes: "Microvision demonstrated a prototype display that uses three leds and a mirror to display SVGA graphics from something small enough to be put into cellphones." Not a lot of technical details, but what's there looks good. It'll be a few years at best before the prototypes turn into real products, and I'm not quite sure I want to beta test this one, but I sure can't wait for when they are ready for prime time.

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Jag gjorde det dude!.. (-1, Offtopic)

CptnHarlock (136449) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996098)

I claim thee in the name of Jan Albin!!.. :)

Re:Jag gjorde det dude!.. (0, Offtopic)

sonicattack (554038) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996143)

I sacrifice my karma on the altar of gratitude.

two turntables and a microphone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996099)

three leds and a mirror.

Ah, progress... ;-)

you gotta hand it to me... (-1)

five dollar troll (541247) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996101)

this is TRULY the first fist-up your ass post!!!

CMDRTACO IS A FUCKRAG!!!

Retinal screen (-1, Troll)

IAgreeWithThisPost (550896) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996102)

props to the trolls

At long last! (1)

pokeyburro (472024) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996106)

Now I can finally throw away that huge, clunky flat LCD that's hogging up my desk.

Augmented Reality Folks (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996289)

The real gem of this technology is that it will eventually lead to full heads-up augmented reality computing.

Imagine walking down a street or park, and projected out in front of you is all types of interactive data about whats going on. You could be hiking, and with the assistance of GPS and this retinal display, a live top map could be projected over your field of vision, giving you great insight and clues as to where you are going. Better still, such GIS information such as water, underground pipes, etc would be available for full viewing just as if you had x-ray vision.

For doctors, full 3D PET/CAT scan data could be overlayed in vivid detail right on top of the patient as the doctor operates. The doctor could see in complete detail exactly what she was doing as she made the incision.

I don't know about you but MicroVision Technologies is a stock I'm going to buy, they are going to be huge.

Oooh, more health warnings. (2)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996113)

Now we'll not only hear about cell phones causing brain cancer, now the press will be warning us that we could put our eyes out.

Re:Oooh, more health warnings. (1)

Triv (181010) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996163)

Now we'll not only hear about cell phones causing brain cancer, now the press will be warning us that we could put our eyes out.

Not until someone actually DOES and sues the manufacturer for millions of dollars. Remember McDonalds and the lawsuit that required them to put "Warning! Coffee is extremely hot! Drink with caution!" on their coffee cups?

Triv

Re:Oooh, more health warnings. (5, Funny)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996195)

Heh, maybe we need to put warning stickers on consumers as well. If the person fails a few basic tests, they get a sticker that says "Warning, this consumer is extremely stupid. Do not sell any sharp, hard, pointy, hot, cold or easily swallowed items to this individual."
or maybe "Warning, this individual litigates over own stupidity. Symptoms include rash of complaints, with persistent ambulance chasers."

Re:Oooh, more health warnings. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996257)

now that's a good fucking idea, mod this shit up

Re:Oooh, more health warnings. (2)

Oliver Wendell Jones (158103) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996361)

Heh, maybe we need to put warning stickers on consumers as well

Check out comedian Bill Engvall's [billengvall.com] album "Here's Your Sign", where he makes that very point.

If we gave all the stupid people signs that said "I'm stupid" then we'd know better than to deal with them.

Re:Oooh, more health warnings. (1)

TheTomcat (53158) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996449)

We'd run out of signs.

Re:Oooh, more health warnings. (3, Informative)

Aexia (517457) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996367)

>>Not until someone actually DOES and sues the manufacturer for millions of dollars. Remember McDonalds and the lawsuit that required them to put "Warning! Coffee is extremely hot! Drink with caution!" on their coffee cups?

Do you remember that the woman got third degree burns, needed skin grafts, spent a couple weeks in intensive care and offered to settle for ~$20K in hospital fees?

Do you remember that McDonald's rebuffed that offer?

Do you remember McDonald's having received hundreds of complaints in the past about the coffee temperature?

Do you remember that after losing the trial, McDonald's lowered the coffee temperature to something consumable by human beings?

Or do you only remember how the media characterized the case?

Re:Oooh, more health warnings. (2)

ErikTheRed (162431) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996216)

I don't think ya'll read the article. The light is emitted by three LEDs driven by a (presumably) portable power source (battery), probably not bright enough to cause any sort of eye damage. You must have been thinking about lasers or something...

Effects on eyes (0)

JohnBE (411964) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996117)

Is there any research on the long term effects of using these devices on they eyes and eye muscles?

Re:Effects on eyes (2, Interesting)

PowerTroll 5000 (524563) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996135)

Probably not, since Microvision just developed the prototype.

But I see where you're coming from with the idea, no pun intended. Ever try to focus on a close up object? It's rather difficult, so I figure eyestrain would be a factor.

Also, the article is somewhat light on the specifics on usage, how close to the eye, power usage (current and intended market), etc.

Re:Effects on eyes (1, Funny)

JohnBE (411964) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996176)

I certainly suffered from eye strain when using VR helmets. I wonder if the low entropy of the eyes will weaken the movement of muscles.

Someone could 0wn your box and turn up the lights.

Re:Effects on eyes (2)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996178)

Just because the projecting device is close to your eyes doesn't mean your eyes have to focus close. I'm sure the angle of the projection is such that your eyes can comfortably focus at a (virtual) distance of 18" or so.

Have you ever used a ViewMaster?

Re:Effects on eyes (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996254)

Fuck your sig. Its Gh3y! I reckon you still sing "Camptown races" in your head.

Mod it down....+2 whore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996331)

Read the subject. This is not a post at 2 comment. Karma whoring.

Rectal scanning (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996124)

Rectal scanning. Thats what I say!

Iris scanning is the more modern method (-1, Offtopic)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996128)

Retinal scanning is old hat. In the first place the retina changes shape over time (thats why people get myopic), particularly during pregnancy. Also it is a genetically determined pattern, the left and right retinas are mirror images. The killer is that people don't want to have their retina scanned with a laser, no matter how weak.

The iris on the other hand can be scanned without special illumination and has even greater variation than the retina. The iris pattern is unique for each individual (different even for identical twins) and the left and right eye have completely independent patterns. The iris also moves of its own accord due to a reflex action

Iris-scan [iris-scan.com] , the company that holds the patents claim to have cross over error rates of 1 in a million (i.e. false positive = false negative).

I suspect it is much more likely that this is what the phone is doing than retinal scanning.

Re:Iris scanning is the more modern method (2)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996134)

Ummm... we're not talking about scanning the retina for identification. This is a new kind of display.

Re:Iris scanning is the more modern method (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996185)

well...then it's a good thing the title is Retinal-Scanning Screen Prototypes innit?

Scanning, like your TV, not like Star Trek. (1)

raygundan (16760) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996262)

Scanning, in the sense that the gun in your television scans as it draws the picture. As in "scanlines".

Re:Iris scanning is the more modern method (1)

shadow303 (446306) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996146)

Read the article. This has nothing to do with identification- it is about projecting an image onto the retina for viewing.

Re:Iris scanning is the more modern method (1)

MalcalypseTheYounger (398517) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996148)

Interesting information, to bad it has nothing to do with the article.

Re:Iris scanning is the more modern method (1)

TheGreatGraySkwid (553871) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996150)

Next time try reading the article, mate.

This isn't talking about retinal scanning for secure identification purposes, it's talking about using a scanning laser to project images directly onto the retina.

Re:Iris scanning is the more modern method (2)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996154)

Akk, wrong way round, this is not retinal scan this is retinal projection!

Re:Iris scanning is the more modern method (2)

PhotoGuy (189467) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996155)

Ummm, this isn't eye-scanning in the traditional sense (looking at your iris/retina for security/identification purposes), but as a display.

"Retinal scanning" is a confusing term for this article to use; they mean the transmitted image is scanned across your retina as the mirror moves, so you can see the image, not so it can see your eye.

Hmmmm. If they can project it on to your eye bright enough, I wonder if with a bit of modification they could project it onto the airplane seat in front of you. A tiny projector for travel would be very cool :-)

-me

Re:Iris scanning is the more modern method (1)

flink (18449) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996166)

You may want to take a closer look at the article. It's about retinal scanning displays, not biometrics. The laser paints an image on your retina , creating an overlaid HUD.

Hold it to your eye? (2)

PhotoGuy (189467) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996131)

Major usability issue here, if you have to hold the thing right in front of your eye to view it. Cell phones are dangerous enough with people holding them to their ears, can you imagine the pileups if folks started holding them in front of one eye while driving.

Seems to me this would be more applicable to VR goggles, or head's up displays.

-me

Re:Hold it to your eye? (1)

HCase (533294) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996189)

easy solution. don't use it while driving. unless its a hud of some sort it doesn't need to be between you and the road.

Re:Hold it to your eye? (2)

hamjudo (64140) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996297)

Seems to me this would be more applicable to VR goggles, or head's up displays.

What a coincidence, those devices seem to make up the rest of Microvision [mvis.com] 's product line.

Once they figured out how to scan the mirror fast and accurately enough, there are all sorts of uses. Bummer, most of them seem to be out of my price range for at least the next year, probably three.

You can tell it's not ready for primetime, the Spectrum color display system [mvis.com] has a two pound piece that mounts on your head, tethered to a 40 pound box. I want one anyway.

Re:Hold it to your eye? (2, Informative)

PaulGibson (552064) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996308)

I looked at their web page (link topic post) and it seems that this is a device that straps to your head and a screen ends up in front of your eye. The screen does not interupt vision, but draws on top of what your eye is seeing. This indeed is a wearable head up display, and could be used for everything from driving to finding a needle in a haystack. One way to make this interesting technology useless is to mount it into a device that is not attached to your head. Like a toaster. Or a cell phone.

it would be interesting to see if this technology could work in reverse as well. Read the information from the retina that the eye is seeing, and then access usefull and pertinant information. For instance, you are looking at the night stars, and the computer locates and displays an astronomy chart over them, helping you to find and name constellations.

Slashdot... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996139)

Again changes to hell.

Am I the only one (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996144)

that read that and saw "Macrovision" instead of "Microvision?" For a minute, I thought I was going to have to submit to a retinal scan to watch fair use disabled tapes and DVDs!

~~~

MVIS stock price drops on news (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996153)

MVIS stock price drops on news that another infeasible and unwanted technology was developed by the company.

"Why would anyone want to look like a dork holding a cell phone in front of their face to read their computer screen?" asked one attendee of the press conference.

"We will be able to produce hundreds of thousands of units every year!" claimed Microvision's CEO.

Skeptics remain skeptical, though, with no evidence that wearable computing ever taking off. "This is just another gimmick technology," said another attendee, "if I was really interested in computing, I'd carry a laptop or palm-sized computer. I certainly wouldn't hold a cell phone in front of my face. How would I type?"

Microvision is the leader in cell phone-based retinal scanning screens.

Re:MVIS stock price drops on news (1)

Quixadhal (45024) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996389)

Woah! Maybe we can link these with the cuecat somehow??? That way I can have a wearable linux box that can scan the barcodes at the store and automatically translate them into real prices!

"Identify for retina scan..." (0, Redundant)

josquint (193951) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996157)

"Kirk, Admiral James T."

.

Taco has been snotted! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996162)

Attention: this just in. Hemos just snotted Taco. As did an anonymous troll. Taco has yet again been snotted.

Forget Cell phones... (1)

ratajik (57826) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996164)

Nice for Cell phones, but it sure seems like this has some massive applications for any portable type of computer. With the size of laptops coming down each year, I would imagine being able to, in effect, get rid of the display could REALLY reduce them. Imagine having a 1 ghz machine, large about of storage (IBM micro-drives come to mind), and a tiny display you can "peek" into, that would fit in your pocket. Or having a notebook size display on a Pilot. Very cool...

Re:Forget Cell phones... (2)

Uberminky (122220) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996227)

Or having a notebook size display on a Pilot
Yeah... that would be so cool.

(What the heck?!?!?)

Re:Forget Cell phones... (1)

BdosError (261714) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996392)

Once again, I have to ask how this largely redundant comment got moderated as 2? Or is this some karma laden user who gets to post crap at an inflated level?

Re:Forget Cell phones... (1)

ehikory (323540) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996391)

Rather than a pilot, try either the Panasonic Toughbook 07 [panasonic.com] or one of the machines from Saint Song [saintsong.com.tw] . These provide modern (Pentium) processors, decent HD space, etc: as much as most notebooks and many light desktops. The problem is power: most machines require a fair amount of power (54W draw for the Cappaccino Gx1), which means a *lot* of batteries.

This is a PROJECTOR, not a scanner (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996171)

Retinal scanning is when you read the retina, not when you present things for the retina to scan.

http://www.dictionary.com/search?q=scan

Re:This is a PROJECTOR, not a scanner (2)

skroz (7870) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996335)

The term "retinal scanning display" comes from the fact that the beam (from lasers or LEDs) "scans" across your retina much like electron guns scan aross the back of a CRT. Not exactly the same, the good enough for an analogy.

Portable DVD, Yes; Portable Phone, No (5, Funny)

TheMatt (541854) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996174)

Okay, I can see this as a new type of Glasstron like system for portable DVD players (has to be cheaper than the 8" LCD on current ones). But in no way should this be in a cell phone. I can barely walk and talk on one of those, but walk, talk, and view a movie, I'd hurt people. In a car, I'd be a moving traffic violation.

One other question, what about those of us with glasses, can the system work around that, or will I have to start wearing a monocle like Mr. Peanut?

Re:Portable DVD, Yes; Portable Phone, No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996201)

dare to be different. follow the peanut.

Re:Portable DVD, Yes; Portable Phone, No (1)

TheMatt (541854) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996299)

I should! I can get a top hat and cane easily from a friend. Now, where to buy a prescription monocle...

And here is another question, what about epileptics that respond to flashing lights? I'm thinking this bugger will have government warnings up the wazoo about that. "Let's move the flashing LEDs as close the eye as we can..."

Looks like glasses not a problem. (3, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996285)

One other question, what about those of us with glasses, can the system work around that, or will I have to start wearing a monocle like Mr. Peanut?

If the marketing sketches of the optic path accurately show the geometry of the system, you'd be able to see in focus without your glasses. (But your iris would have to be in the correct spot, i.e. you're looking in the right direction, or the image will disappear.)

The focus issue occurs because the light from a given real-world "pixel" arrives as a wide, essentially colimated (rays essentially parallel) beam, and your lens has to focus the light hitting it all over its surface down to a point, or a very small patch, on the retina. If your lens is less than perfect or not currently adjusted correctly, light from one real-world pixel striking different parts of it arrive at different spots on the retina, rather than all at one spot, defocusing the image.

Most displays illuminate the whole retina with a broad beam, allowing you to move your eye or head about and still see the image, but requiring your lens or lens-plus-glasses system to focus properly. This system MAY hit your eye with a narrow beam, which would reduce or eliminate the need for the lens to focus accurately.

But it would also require your eye to be in exactly the right spot, within the size of your pupil as viewed through your eye's lens. Eye motion would make you lose the image. So I suspect the display actually spreads out the light on its way to your eye, and you'd still need the glasses.

Re:Looks like glasses not a problem. (1)

TheMatt (541854) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996324)

...you'd be able to see in focus without your glasses

Ah, but my problem is that I need the glasses, I am quite blind and so if I decided to buy one of these as a stylish HUD or video viewer, I'd be half blind.

That's not a bad thing if I'm sitting down, but if I'm walking across campus looking cool with one of these babies on my head, I need the other eye.

Re:Looks like glasses not a problem. (2)

mbessey (304651) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996416)


Ah, but my problem is that I need the glasses, I am quite blind and so if I decided to buy one of these as a stylish HUD or video viewer, I'd be half blind.


No problemo. You just hook this display into a digital video camera, and the movie will be overlaid over the "real world" data.


-Mark

Brings to mind Diamond Age (5, Funny)

Suicyco (88284) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996181)


Anyone remember the advertising in Diamond Age where images were broadcast directly into the eyes of passersby on the street? I can imagine this on a scale where these are placed in strategic locations in supermarkets, on the street, heck even the freeway. Scary, that you could have images directly placed onto your retina that are beyond your control (other then closing your eyes) Talk about mucking with reality, but then there's a whole new market for special sun glasses that reflect this kind of bombardment... Oakley Ad Blockers!

Re:Brings to mind Diamond Age (0)

IAgreeWithThisPost (550896) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996249)

that's sweet, chief. You get right on that.

Re:Brings to mind Diamond Age (3, Insightful)

Wire Tap (61370) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996328)

Actually, one of the people mentioned (when Stephenson was going on about this technology) killed himself BECAUSE the ads were present even when he closed his eyes.

Re:Brings to mind Diamond Age (2)

Galvatron (115029) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996338)

How's that different from how things work now? The lasers would need LOS to your retina for this to work, and if they have LOS to your retina, then you would still be able to see a bilboard placed in the same spot.


I guess they might be able to make the ad look BIGGER then they could otherwise.

Super VGA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996190)

Is super VGA not 1024x768, this was my understanding, however the artical cites SVGA as being 800x600

Re:Super VGA (2, Informative)

Zurk (37028) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996264)

nope. here's the official list :
Herc/MDA 80 x 25 text
CGA 320 x 200
EGA 640 x 350
VGA 640 x 480
SVGA 800 x 600
XGA 1024 x 768
SXGA 1280 x 1024
UXGA 1600 x 1200

Re:Super VGA (0, Redundant)

Destoo (530123) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996287)

QVGA/CGA 320x240
VGA 640x480
SVGA 800x600
XGA 1024x768
SXGA 1280x1024
SXGA+ 1400x1200
UXGA 1600x1200
VXGA 1920x1440
DXGA 2048x1536

official list from where, Zurk?
this one is from here [techtarget.com] .

Re:Super VGA (1)

PaulGibson (552064) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996425)

Back when I went to college, I bought an IBM PS/2 Model 30. This baby was screaming (8086 8MHz), and I got the 20MB hard drive, instead of the 2 floppy drives, all for a cool $3500. It came with MCGA graphics. What was that? I remember that it also came with Windows 2.0, which came with a cool Othello game called reversi. This was about the last version of Windows (tm) that I enjoyed using by the way.

So, why does this MCGA not show up on the list? I was quite proud of this machine until my roomate showed up with the model 50. That sucker was a 286 running at 16Hz. WOW.

I also had a Beta.

Great for Singles Bars! (2, Funny)

iforgotmyfirstlogon (468382) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996196)

Now you can just superimpose a cute face and slender figure instead of having to drink one into place! Think of the cost savings!

- Freed

Re:Great for Singles Bars! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996220)

This is an augmented reality head set. You're thinking of virtual reality.

Sheesh (2)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996200)

and I'm not quite sure I want to beta test this one,

That's like saying you don't want to test a View Master 3D toy because you're afraid they might have put a search-light-power light bulb inside.

Do you really think they're putting a 1 watt laser in this thing?

Re:Sheesh (2)

ErikTheRed (162431) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996231)


Do you really think they're putting a 1 watt laser in this thing?

From a press release six months from now:

"Well, the main thing preventing us from mass-deployment at this point is the large holes being burned through the skulls of our beta testers. We hope to have this problem resolved soon...


This release may contain forward-looking statements and other such bullshit..."

Re:Sheesh (2)

dstone (191334) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996307)

Power isn't the only thing that can damage or cause discomfort, eye strain, headaches, seizures, etc. Research and even a few things that made it to mass-consumption have shown that rapidly flashing or rythmically scanning a "safe" (read: low-power) light can be dangerous. Additional dangers are possible in a stereoscopic scenario, where you can present fields that cause the eyes to converge or diverge on a target too much. (And this is under pure software control!) If you watched the strobing-eye robots in Japan or were a developer for the Nintendo Virtual Boy, you'll know what I'm talking about!

My point is that burning away the retinal surface isn't the only thing to be concerned about.

If it's bright enough... (2)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996319)

Do you really think they're putting a 1 watt laser in this thing?

Doesn't matter if it's a laser or a diode, one watt or one milliwatt. If it's bright enough to paint a visible picture it's bright enough to fry the spot that's illuminated if the scanning stops with the beam on.

So they'll need a safety interlock of some sort to cut off or dim the light source if the scanning stops, or make the amount of light emitted dependent on the actual motion of the mirror, unless they can guarantee that the scanning failure modes all deflect the light away from the eye.

Laser light / Normal light (5, Interesting)

Renraku (518261) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996209)

Any kind of light ultimately damages the eye. Some types do more damage than others. Lasers, notorious for being high power and having the ability to easily blind people have gotten a bad rep. Low-power lasers do very little harm, probably less harm than a few minutes outdoors on a bright Winter day. I believe they are doing this now, or will be starting to, paint images on the retina directly using a laser for flight and other types of training.

Simple fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996238)

Just walk around blindfolded.

Now... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996213)

If I could just get this sewn in my eyeball, along with the IBM Microdrive inside my armpit, and the firewire port on my ass,...

I guess I'd need a driver.

Re:Now... (deja vu) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996327)

didnt you post this same reponse earlier?

Skip sewing it to your ey and plug right into the old nerve endings if you go that far.

And watch out for which port you plug that new digital camera into...

This has been done before.... (1)

Creedo (548980) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996221)

I remember reading about a system virtually identical to this several years ago(maybe the same company, even). I was big into VR then, and I thought that this would be a hell of a way to create an immersive system.

Creedo

Re:This has been done before.... (2)

cosmosis (221542) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996260)

This is the same company. Their long-term goal is to be the premier provider for displays for virtual and especially augmented reality systems.

Re:This has been done before.... (2)

technomancerX (86975) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996304)

It's the same company... the company came out U of Washington's HIT Lab... unfortunately the company is (or was) a scam... they negotiated an exclusive licens for the tech from the HIT Lab, IPOed, and then the founders both sold all of their stock and took off, basically leaving a promising idea tied up in a hollow shell of a company...

The problem is that the technology requires incredibly small, precise optics that move at high speed... this can be done, but they have yet to produce anything durable enough for consumer use...

Misreading (1)

3141 (468289) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996228)

I thought it said three LEADS and a mirror. That would have been impressive.

Very cool... (2)

jasno (124830) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996230)

Now what i'd like to see is this technology applied to creating a cheap display for consumer devices. I used to design consumer products (cordless, not cell, phones) and we were very interested in adding advanced features, but the cost of the LCD was always prohibitive.

What about increasing the intensity of the LEDs (Laser diodes perhaps?) and scanning a small portion of the wall adjacent to the device. Most people (the the US anyway) have fairly smooth, white walls. The only drawback would be getting it bright enough to be seen in a light room.

Re:Very cool... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996263)

Congratulations, you've reinvented the video projector! Please proceed to the USPTO to claim your prize.

YEAY, Another Microvision Press Release (5, Insightful)

technomancerX (86975) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996242)

Microvision puts out a press release roughly once per year AND NEVER RELEASES ANY DAMN PRODUCTS. They've been working on making this technology work since ~1993 and still have nothing to show for it. It's vapor, move along.

SNL (2)

Mondrames (242558) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996246)

Reminds me of the "Jeffrey's" Sketch with P. Brosnan - Will Farrel whips out his email pager -
He wears it on his finger, and it is the size of a matchbox. To read it he needs to put on magnifiying glasses and move the screen from side to side.

Really the only funny part of the sketch.

It's so cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996266)

I sure want to be seen wearing one of these [mvis.com] around campus. I'll be the coolest guy around.

Women will flock to me and people will pay me thousands of dollars to wire their networks for them. I just feel so bad for the jocks who can't use technology as advanced as a pencil, when the geeks take over the world it will be they who will be scrounging for women.

The geek shall inherit the earth!

Re:It's so cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996286)

nope. you'd just look like a dork.

One Word: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996271)

Snowcrash!

Cool.......oh CRAP Im BLIND ! (2)

CDWert (450988) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996272)

This sounds cool, and Im glad someone is on this track, in 20 years people will be sayign (as they do with TV) , 'People used to think this would hurt their eyes' , like my mom used to say about the TV.

I always love the sci-fi flicks where they have something like this on a thin stick near their eye, walking around in a dark smokey ship hold. a good slap upside the head and , ouch. no more eye.

Or the IBM commercial....same thing.

Im not so worried about the reitanl scanning effects, lasers(no not the little led jobbers), arcs, you name it and Ive looked at it. I can still see, I may have had vison problems for a day or so after some of the incidents but it healed(I know I understand some dont).

What Im WORRIED about is having something the size of a frigging pencil 1 inch from my eye, that sounds scarrier than potential retinal damage.

Imagine... (-1, Redundant)

ViolatorFP (558204) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996273)

A Beowulf cluster of these!! You all suck

metaverse (1)

xonos (218227) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996275)

when can i log into the Metaverse?

(from Snowcrash for those who do not know the reference)

Screen saver (2, Funny)

Overphiend (227888) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996277)

Just dont forget to turn on the screen saver, I would hate to have to look at a negitave of the same web page for the rest of my life.

I had one of those! (2)

SpiceWare (3438) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996306)

Microvision [oriole.net] was the first hand held video game system with cartridges.

Oh, wait - that's a different Microvision :-)

It's not cell phones, stupid! (2)

infinite9 (319274) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996311)

While this may be a killer app, it certainly won't be for cell phones. I see the main market for this to be the replacement of active matrix notebook displays. If they can get the resolution to 1024x768, you can take that fold-up keyboard for palms and mix them with a small computer brick. The brick stays inside the bag and uses a possible wireless connection to the headset and keyboard. You could also replace desktop displays with this thing. Use some kind of shield to black out room light and you'll have a very emmersive heads up display. Wearable computers as well, maybe that's the cell phone angle. This reminds me of that ST:TNG episode where everyone was getting high on that head-moutned video game. Cool stuff.

Can you say hazardous? (1)

john82 (68332) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996313)

Here in DC we just had several highway fatalities because someone was talking on her cell phone and crossed the median into the path of a minivan.

Obviously the answer is to use a phone that urges you to hold it in front of your face for even greater distraction.

Very bad idea.

Now hackers can have more fun. (1)

drink85cent (558029) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996323)

Hackers will now be able to write malicious code to flash bright white light into the users eyes and blind them.

At last! (2)

infinite9 (319274) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996325)

At last! Pr0n on the morning train commute and no one will know... well, as long as I keep my coat on my lap anyway.

What about deformed retinas? (4, Insightful)

Twister002 (537605) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996329)

Most nearsightedness [allaboutvision.com] and farsightedness [allaboutvision.com] is caused by the eye, and consequently the retina, not being in the correct shape.The image is formed either too far ahead or behind the retina.

I read the article but I didn't see any mention of how the beam would project on malformed retinas. If you are farsighted and you use this Microvision system, will the image appear to be deformed as well? Will it look like you are sitting too close to the movie theater screen?

Re:What about deformed retinas? (3, Interesting)

Jerf (17166) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996427)

Here's a thought; this sort of thing could replace current eye exam methodologies, or at least supplement them.

Rather then asking a series of binary questions, "Is this... or this... better?", give the examinee some control over the process and do things like "Twist this knob until the line is in focus."

Where this could become really useful is in the more exotically deformed eyes... 'normal' near-/far-sightedness is identified plenty well by current methodologies, but imagine someone with spherical distortion being able to fiddle with the knobs until they see things correctly, and letting the computer figure out what the settings are. Or perhaps "Make this line so it doesn't curve."

One could theorectically do some of this with just a screen, but this technology might allow better control over precise focus and other similar precise controls that might make this significantly better then current practice.

I'm not an optamologist, just a nerd rambling, so perhaps this is already being looked into.

OLD Technology... (3, Interesting)

X86Daddy (446356) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996348)

...well, when it comes to this arena anyway.

MIT's 'borgs [mit.edu] have been using prototype retinal scanning displays from various companies that have offered them for at least half a decade.

Back around '97 I was really interested in wearables, but the availability of this type of display was always a problem, and all the suppliers that the MIT crew had listed no longer sold the devices (and they were only selling them as dev-kits anyway)

Read up on MIT's "Lizzy." The most popular display back then was a single LED (red) scanning display, with 320x240 resolution, but it was the same exact technology.

Re:OLD Technology... (1)

DerProfi (318055) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996445)

Nope, I think this is different. This supposedly builds the image pixel by pixel DIRECTLY onto the retina without relying on an intermediate viewing surface. The displays used by the MIT borgs are all variations on the projection TV theme, which is old technology indeed.

How to keep the image steady, though? (1)

DerProfi (318055) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996376)

It's one thing to put an image up onto a screen which the eye can scan while the brain quietly does its own meatware version of Sony Steadyshot. But wouldn't countering small projector vibrations and eye movements be darned tricky? Does this require the projection unit to be clamped to the skull while the eyes are immobilzed with a Clockwork Orangesque device? Or is the thing smart enough to continuously vary where it projects each frame? Naturally, I'm skeptical...

What about bodily functions? (2)

eaddict (148006) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996385)

What happens if I sneeze? What if I develop pick-eye? What if my contact pops out since I didn't blink?

mmmm.... rectal scans hurt (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2996407)

Man, You really don't wanna beta-test those rectal scans, especially after I'm done

Hey, I think the goats.cx guy already tested one.

Is this another vaporware company? (0)

quan74 (451034) | more than 12 years ago | (#2996410)

Can anyone point me to where you can actually find some of their technology in use? From their press release page press release page [corporate-ir.net] all I see are things like:
Microvision demonstrates prototype X at unheard of conference.
Microvision scores $10B contract to develop M for the army.
Microvision reports N Quarter results.
Microvision ships (ok so they actually built something) prototype Z. (but does it work).

Just curious if they've actually built anything other than a prototype in the last 12 years.....
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