Killer app? See-through displays in your glasses

The trend toward smaller screens might someday mean doing away with screens altogether, and wearing see-through displays in your stylish eyeglasses.
Written by Denise Amrich, Contributor

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.

Editorial standards