/>
X

Photos: What's inside France Telecom's Paris R&D Labs

Mobile TV glasses, LED sweaters and a full-size virtual boss
bylinepic.jpg
By Jo Best on
40147569-1-glasses2.jpg
1 of 8 Jo Best/ZDNet

Mobile TV glasses, LED sweaters and a full-size virtual boss

This isn't a photo from a Star Trek: Next Generation conference or a picture of a wannabe X-Man - it's a look inside France Telecom's R&D Labs. The telco, which owns mobile operator Orange and ISP Wanadoo, took silicon.com for a sneaky peak at the next generation of devices it's working on...

Photo credit: Wanadoo

40147569-2-glasses1.jpg
2 of 8 Jo Best/ZDNet
This device is designed to allow the wearer to watch TV on the move. Video clips are streamed from a mobile phone, connected using an EDGE network, into two tiny screens inside the specs, while earphones provide the sound.

The thinking behind this is privacy - the user can watch TV on the train while dodging shoulder surfers. It's expected to debut in October or November.

Photo credit: Jo Best

40147569-3-dongle2.jpg
3 of 8 Jo Best/ZDNet
This dongle is part of the France Telecom's Quintesens device and works alongside another desktop bit of kit to provide submersive gaming or, according to France Telecom, even train up surgeons.

Photo credit: Jo Best

40147569-4-tower3.jpg
4 of 8 Jo Best/ZDNet
The Quintesens system works by providing games to tickle the five senses. This tower has five different reservoirs for scents so, say, if a gamer has his character run into a field of daffodils - or a manure heap - the Quintesens tower will provide the smell.

The dongle (previous page) is the system's input method - allowing a gamer to pick up and move objects by making the corresponding move with the dongle. The device will change resistance and texture to reflect what the gamer is carrying, so from an anvil to a grape, the game feels as realistic as possible.

Photo credit: Jo Best

40147569-5-quintesens.jpg
5 of 8 Jo Best/ZDNet
2D gaming, it appears, is so over. Quintesens visuals are specially made to work with another pair of ridiculous glasses. The blurry effect seen here, combined with the glasses, helps to turn the visuals 3D. Here, the system is being used to guide the user around a château in France.

Photo credit: Jo Best

40147569-6-meetingroom.jpg
6 of 8 Wanadoo
This is France Telecom's Real Meet system - videoconferencing with a bit of virtual reality thrown in. Here, the video screens are enlarged, making the virtual participants appear nearly the same size as they really are.

Microphones and speakers are distributed along the side of the meeting room to recreate the location of participants' voices more accurately - when an attendee walks from left to right, participants in the virtual world will hear volume levels fall or increase, depending on where they're sitting.

40147569-7-prototypetop1.jpg
7 of 8 Jo Best
Perhaps one of the more outlandish examples of wearable tech, here France Telecom shows off an early version of a top capable of displaying images. This version was later binned - the fibre optics were considered too chunky and image definition was poor.
40147569-8-top3.jpg
8 of 8 Jo Best/ZDNet
Here, a later version swaps fibre optics for LEDs and cuts down the display panel size to make the top more comfortable to wear.

Photo credit: Jo Best

Related Galleries

Say hello to the early days of web browsers
netscape-shutterstock-189041855.jpg

Related Galleries

Say hello to the early days of web browsers

9 Photos
TRENDnet TUC-ET5G USB-C 3.1 to 5GBASE-T Ethernet adapter
TRENDnet TUC-ET5G

Related Galleries

TRENDnet TUC-ET5G USB-C 3.1 to 5GBASE-T Ethernet adapter

20 Photos
Anker PowerExpand 8-in-1 USB-C hub
Anker PowerExpand 8-in-1 USB-C hub

Related Galleries

Anker PowerExpand 8-in-1 USB-C hub

7 Photos
Netgear Orbi RBK752 tri-band Gigabit Wi-Fi 6 mesh
Netgear Orbi RBK752

Related Galleries

Netgear Orbi RBK752 tri-band Gigabit Wi-Fi 6 mesh

8 Photos
Plugable UD-CA1A USB-C dock
Plugable UD-CA1A USB-C docking station

Related Galleries

Plugable UD-CA1A USB-C dock

7 Photos
OWC Thunderbolt 3 10G Ethernet Adapter
OWC Thunderbolt 3 10G Ethernet Adapter

Related Galleries

OWC Thunderbolt 3 10G Ethernet Adapter

4 Photos
Plugable super-fast 2.5Gbps Ethernet adapter (in pictures)
Plugable 2.5Gbps Ethernet adapter

Related Galleries

Plugable super-fast 2.5Gbps Ethernet adapter (in pictures)

14 Photos