Pretty tame interview with MicroOptical Marketing Vice President Mark Basler. Not very noteworthy, except for the following passage:
"We've talked to a lot of wireless telecom executives, and they're very interested in replacing cell phone displays with these kinds of glasses," Basler says. "These companies want to be able to sell consumers more and more display-intensive functions that will use up air time, but in order to do that they'd have to make the handsets so big that no one would buy them. That's where we come in." Possible partners also include phone makers like Motorola, Nokia and Samsung.
MicroVision has introduced a new head mounted display for $4,000, which is being marketed towards automotive service enviornments. This means that your local grease monkey may be wearing one of these devices, if you own a porche.
The system lays schematics on top of what you would normally see, and uses 802.11b wireless to connect as a thin client to the shop's server to pull schematics. They also say you can view webpages over the monocromatic display, but somehow I think this might not be the ideal way to surf the web.
Tony Havelka wrote to the wear-hard mailing list about a hack from TekGear using the Eye Link Communicator, a kid's toy that I've written about on here before, and their M1 OEM Kit. TekGear's Lily Bergen has described a cheap way to make use of their OEM kit for their 320x240 grayscale HMD ($375USD), which is not very useful without a viewfiender and casing. Hopefully this will not be the first hack of the Eye Link Communicator.
It is likely that for many people, TekGear's Ingineo Eye Top is a better solution to the low end HMD market at $449USD. At least for people who don't wear glasses already.
In related news, TekGear is publishing a monthly newsletter. How neat! It's basically a platform for their products, but I love their high end geek swag, and hopefully this will help provide information to our community.
In Time's new article, Coolest Inventions for 2003, they profile a device from Motorola and Frog Design which part of their Offspring Wearable prototypes. It's odd that Time would list a device that isn't really available, but it is quite cool. It houses a digital pinhole camera above the right lens, a miniature display on the inside of the left lens, and an ear piece that pops out the side. They intend to market this as a cell phone accessory available for the public in 2006.
I for one applaud a major hardware manufacturer such as Motorola to produce a Head Mounted Display with a Point Of View Camera included. The design looks pretty nice too, but I hope they anticipate their male market as well as their female consumers.
Three years seems like a long time to wait to buy this gadget, but since it's a Motorola product, HMDs and POV cams are going to be commonplace when it is available to the public.
In addition, if you're interested in exoskeletons, check Time's bit in this article about Keijiro Yamamoto's Power Suit, which uses air power to augment your strength. Costs 15-20k, so only sutiable for rich gargoyles.
Update (Nov 10th, 4:53PM):
This turns out to be the same prototype that was popularized a while ago with a variety of other wearable toys, all of which utilize bluetooth to communicate. I also really like the wearable camera they are producing, although it's not nearly as sweet as the POV cam in the shades.
Goggles: Integrated into the frame of exciting,
stylish sports eyewear, this device incorporates a
heads-up display, digital camera, ear bud and
microphone. Due to the power requirements, there is a
tethered cord that runs out the back to an external
power supply. You can view 800 X 600 displays while
simultaneously staying in touch with the world around