Killer app? See-through displays in your glasses

Killer app? See-through displays in your glasses

Summary: The trend toward smaller screens might someday mean doing away with screens altogether, and wearing see-through displays in your stylish eyeglasses.


Here on ZDNet there's been a lot of conversation about whether we're in the Post PC era or not, with the idea that tablets and smartphones are the new trend in computing, and that desktops and even laptops are the dinosaurs of yesterday.

Great Debate: Is 'post PC era' bunk or legit?

Now it seems like the trend toward smaller screens might someday mean doing away with screens altogether, as suggested in Gavin Allen's article, Email in your eye? Next-generation video screen glasses could lay messages or GPS over your field of vision.

After all, we were just discussing smart bionic contact lenses here on ZDNet Health. Glasses would be an option for people who can't or won't wear contacts.

See also: Could your contact lenses be smarter than you are?

Lumus, an Israeli company already making special wearable display spectacles for the military, is creating a buzz with its latest announcement about eye-wear enhanced by see-through, wearable displays.

According to their website, these see-through, wearable displays will offer a new way of living, working, communicating, and viewing content (including videogames, Internet, TV, and movies) and will boast full color, super large hi-res screens anywhere you look, wherever you are, simultaneous connectivity to what you want to see as well as what you need to see, augmented reality, and are "natural-looking, discreet, lightweight, and portable."

If you'd like to know more, check out the facts on the Lumus FAQ, and also check out the picture at the top of the woman wearing a pair of the glasses. Okay, not what I'd call mistakable for a normal pair of sunglasses, but not all that much worse than those As-Seen-On-TV Smart View High Definition Sunglasses that are supposed to look good on absolutely everybody (having tried a pair on, I can vouch for...not).

I am fascinated by the possibilities here, although I imagine it'll be just another way to help people be rude and avoid interacting with the actual world in favor of the virtual.

As fun as these glasses might be to play with, I truly dread the day when people are getting into accidents while wearing these glasses and simultaneously trying to drive, watch TV, work, and surf the Internet. Let's hope it isn't actually a "killer" app.

I'm also theorizing that we can soon expect our eyeglasses to not only have a prescription, but also a subscription. My iPhone bill is a large enough monthly expense, thanks very much.

Still, I can't wait to try on a pair and see what they're like. I'm especially curious because, being over forty, I wonder if a screen that close would be impossible for the presbyopic or farsighted to see, and how the technology would correct for that.

Will you be keeping an eye out for these glasses to reach the consumer market? Let us know in the TalkBacks below.

Topics: Laptops, Hardware, Mobility, Tablets


Denise Amrich is a Registered Nurse, the health care advisor for the U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute, and a mentor for the Virtual Campus at Florida's Brevard Community College.

Nothing in this article is meant to be a substitute for medical advice, and shouldn't be considered as such. If you are in need of medical help, please see your doctor.

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  • RE: Killer app? See-through displays in your glasses

    I have to wear glasses. I certainly don't want to wear more glasses.
    Seems everywhere monitors are getting larger, some even have two or three.
    I am up to 24' widescreen now.
  • RE: Killer app? See-through displays in your glasses

    Hopefully if these things are ever in mainstream usage there will be laws against people wearing them when driving. I can see more accidents being caused by these things than by texting.
    Test Subject
  • RE: Killer app? See-through displays in your glasses

    "When can I buy Lumus?

    Lumus currently sells its Optical Engine modules to top Tier Consumer Electronic Manufacturers on an OEM basis. We currently do not sell solutions directly to the consumer market. The moment our OEM customers announce availability, we will happily link you to their sites for more details."

    Not a good start. The answer might as well be "you'll never see it in your lifetime."
    • Market Engine overdrive

      @CobraA1 From their web site:

      receives the image content from the mobile device and projects it into the side of the LOE, using advanced coupling optics

      Coupling optics? You mean mirrors? Pretty funny really. It's a head's up display making use of modern LCD source displays. Nothing new here.
  • RE: Killer app? See-through displays in your glasses

    Yes Please. Hooked up to a smartphone and with the addtition of a Kinect like sensor for gestures and virtual keyboard and we could say goodbye to tablets.
  • RE: Killer app? See-through displays in your glasses

    Caution: Pregnant and Breastfeeding women use them.Keep out reach of children .Do not give to children.