Feb. 28 - Spectacles have reached a new level of sophistication. An Israeli optics company says its glasses can now be used as a projection screen for all kinds of digital information from smart phone data to augmented reality, directly to the user's line of sight. Jim Drury reports.
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They're not the most fashionable of glasses - but this pair of specs may reinvent the world of wireless computing.
Lumus Ltd's prototype miniature video projector turns glasses into a personal video screen at the click of a button.
Light waves travel through fibre optics within the lenses and are enlarged and directed at the eyes.
The illusion of an 87 inch screen appears in front of the wearer's eyes at a perceived distance of three metres.
It's the brainchild of Yaacov Amitay, Lumus's CEO.
SOUNDBITE (English) YAACOV AMITAY, CEO OF LUMUS LTD, SAYING:
"The principle of this device is quite simple. A video image is created inside this black box, this image is then inserted inside this thin glass and then coupled out into the eyes of the user in such a way that he sees a gigantic screen having a three dimensional image floating in the air".
Once the prototype is developed, users should be able to view videos, play games, and surf the net.
The company says it will incorporate augmented reality applications to allow facial recognition. Cameras could be embedded so wearers see who they're talking to inside the glasses, even if they're on the other side of the world.
Business development manager Ari Grobman hopes the glasses will be on the market by 2014, after they've been redesigned to fit modern fashion trends.
SOUNDBITE (English) ARI GROBMAN, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER AT LUMUS LTD, SAYING:
"This is a prototype, you could easily cut the wire, have wireless connections embedded in here, you know, wirelessly talk to your smart phone so that's definitely possible as well as the aesthetics, I mean...we believe that this is our optical engine module is actually small enough, you could have a very natural look and consumers won't be afraid to walk around in public, you know, non-dorky, you could actually make it something pretty cool".
Lumus is in talks with cellphone and gaming companies to develop the technology, already used in U.S. airforce F16 fighter jets.
The miniature video glasses are not restricted to those with poor sight. Anyone can wear them....and the company believes that when they've been manufactured, the public will find them very easy on the eye.
Jim Drury, Reuters
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