Saturday, February 04, 2006

Yes, that Star Trek eyewear can read text!

Head-mounted displays for computers and portable video players are not just for gaming and 3d training. There are many applications awaiting delivery! The head-mounted displays of interest are iCuiti's DV920 currently retailing for $549 and eMagin 3dVisor's z800 with head-tracking for $899. Still pricey, but oooh, the uses.

Use the Head-mounted Display while Mobile
After the ohs and ahs of stereovision 3d gaming, the next obvious parameter of the head-mounted display to tap for additional uses is mobility. Head-mounted displays can be the display for any mobile device such as an iPod, other portable video player, cell phone, PDA, pocket computer, etc. assuming support by the device functionality or connecting peripherals. Westwood MA-based MicroOptical announced that they would be making the $269 Myvu iPod head-mounted display available in the spring of 2006.

Hands Free Reading
One of the most interesting mobile applications for the head-mounted display is reading. On demand reading for the bathtub, bed, gym, beach, public transport, meetings, etc., the locations for mobile web, news, book and other publication reading are endless. User-set text size and scrolling pace and head-directed macros are some of the early features of a brand new text reader application, soon to be released into open source - more details to be posted here or email me.

New Kinds of Immersive Entertainment
Other immersive entertainment, especially new kinds of immersive entertainment are now possible. Do that real estate 360 degree walk-through in 3d and/or view any other web-based or other 3d content. After relaxingly reading in bed with your headset, flip over to an audio-visual immersion of a beautiful Pacific Ocean sandy beach, or a mountain meadow with a waterfall in the background, sunset from the white-washed cliffs of Greece or any other view you have selected or created.

Virtual Tourism
How about a 5 minute immersive preview of travel destinations you are considering at your travel agent's office or via the web? Or a 60 minute immersive trip (a real documentary) to Jamaica, Tuscany, Bangalore, Tokyo, Australia, or a scuba dive, safari, extreme rock climb, etc. You can immerse in one location or flip between them in a guided or random way. The possibilities are endless, especially considering real and created locations.

Google is in the process of rendering all the buildings in San Francisco in their mapping software, how soon until more cities and other parts of the world are near-time (and in the future, real-time) rendered virtually?

Can news be immersive? What if the viewer can immerse him/herself in the audio and video experience (with auto-translation) to make up his/her own mind about a situation in addition to hearing the commentary of reporters?

Simulation and Sex
With the real-world rendered, not only tourism would be interesting but any simulation uses could be deployed, e.g.; city planning, traffic modeling, architecture, natural disaster planning, etc. And of course, Kurzweil and others (why is it I have only heard men discussing this?) would be sure to point out the potential sexual benefits of an immersive-experience head-mounted display, maybe teledildonics is just around the corner. I'll leave you to contemplate these yourself.

Wear your Easter Bonnet...
In case you feel uncomfortable wearing your head-mounted display in pubic, come join others at The Happening in Washington DC on Sat., Feb. 18, 6 PM - 1 AM.