Friday, August 21, 2009

Glasses with a view

Lumus Optical won't stop with movie glasses. They are already producing heads up displays for GPS navigation. This Israeli company is an innovator in optical solutions. Keep your eyes on them.

Back in the Tech Watch feature I ran on December 28, 2008, I mentioned the new personal video viewer glasses From Lumus Optical. Well now, more than half a year later, another product line created by MyVu offers consumer viewer glasses that claim to create the illusion of watching a screen at a normal distance from the eyes, despite the eyes' close proximity to the spectacles. While reviews on Amazon are mixed, I may pick up a pair to do a personal review with my new iPhone 3Gs. Irrespective of where the technology now stands, it is inevitable that personal viewers are a new disruptive technology.

Tip of the iceberg

This technology is the beachhead for something special--a new paradigm in personal digital assistance and entertainment. Think about it. The iPhone will someday become the iShades. Glasses that give you a heads up screen while allowing you to continue to view your outside environment. Everything on the iphone screen will be embedded in the glasses, and two ear buds will hang down to cover you for all typical iPhone multimedia duties. In your hand you will have a tiny touch mouse--a small touch screen that navigates the graphical objects in your glasses using the same movements as the present iPhone touch technology. Maybe it will be fashioned as a dual use product by all the third party vendors... a business card case, or even a wallet.

Skype video will take on a whole new dimension of virtual reality if you're walking and talking while watching your caller throughout the conversation. You could even have your personal coach giving you some motivational juice in the waiting room before your big interview. An aerobics instructor or personal trainer will work out with you in real time, but could be on the other side of the planet while teaching you.

How I justify buying one of these things

I study Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and enjoy watching video instructionals before I go to sleep. My wife, on the other hand, is not a fan of either Jiu-Jitsu or a bright flickering screen while she's trying to fall asleep; so that pretty much put the kaibosh on my daily dose of Jiu-Jitsu. Video glasses may promote insomnia for the late night users, but also may promote a healthy marriage despite some of the racy things one could potentially watch with a partner laying only inches away.

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