These Ain't Your Grandma's Bifocals
Annually there is a national technical conference called CES (Consumer Electronics Show). Subtly and in the back corners of these trade shows a spattering of tech companies have been displaying prototypes that, while catchy and cool, are seemingly pointless once the check-it-out honeymoon wears off. That is, until you start putting things together and see what is afoot.
For decades there have been crazy ideas floated in the tech world of head mounted displays, virtual reality and spy-cam glasses galore. Call me nuts, but I am flabbergasted how these technologies continually press a usefulness that is so off the mark. I really do not care to watch a movie privately while wearing glasses that amount to having a disco mirror ball worn over my face. Am I missing something? Do you like that idea? I didn't think so.
Lumus, a progressive Israeli tech company in Tel Aviv, is supplying hardware developers around the world with a perfected optical component to be used in eye-wear. Through this component developers are working hard to develop the next stage of Windows, OSX, and Android. Optically, the components project the screen out in front of you, about 16 to 18 inches. Yet, this is not your familiar Windows
desktop or Firefox browser.
Call up a web browser and there it is, floating in space about arm's length in front of you. Using your smartphone touchpad, voice recognition, or an array of other keyboard-like familiar input devices, you search or surf the web. Just as quickly you slide the web browser off to your right, out of your field of view. It's still there in your peripheral vision, but not right in front of you.
Currently the medical industry implements a version where a small blinking red light captures your attention when your blood sugar level exceeds a safe threshold. Floating in space next to it is an almost
transparent phone number for you to call right now (the Doctor), with instructions for you to read and convey once they answer your call.
The miniaturization of transparent OLED displays might include a release of the rumored "Google Glasses" as early as thus summer. I'm also a fan of augmented reality apps like Layar. They aren't just for movies and video games anymore.
Lumus explained on YouTube
Transparent OLED Laptop screen
Microvision Wearable Displays (eyewear)
Vuzix Video Glasses