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Hitachi's Wearable Internet Appliance 186

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the we're-getting-closer-people dept.
Ned Flanders writes "JapanToday is reporting that Hitachi has produced a Wearable Internet Appliance with head mount display (800 x 600) and a pointing device (all at @500 grams total). Smurf the Weib (c) via PHS or wireless LAN on your shinny new wearable SH-4 32Bit RISC processor running Windows®CE3.0. Available February 28, 2002. Launch in US and Japan was Planned for end of 2001." Someday.
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Hitachi's Wearable Internet Appliance

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  • by Adrian Voinea (216087) <adrianNO@SPAMgds.ro> on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @05:23PM (#2996649) Homepage Journal
    And now for a little bit of karma whoring...

    What is Hitachi WIA?

    Portable Internet Appliance Powered By

    SVGA Full Color Wearable Display

    Small but Powerful Control Unit

    Wearable display

    View Angle: 30 deg (Equivalent to 13"monitor at 2 feet)

    SVGA(800 x 600), 18bits Color

    Weight Less than 80g (2.8 Oz)

    Hands-free viewing of screen

    Forehead-support achieves safety and image stability

    Wearable with eye glasses

    Control unit

    Fit into pockets

    Light Weight

    Instant Power ON

    Without HDD - reliable

    Type II CompactFlash(TM) Slot

    USB Port

    Additional external battery achieves longer

    Battery life: About 5.5" x 3.5" x 1.0"(preliminary)

    Weight: This prototype weighs about 10.9 Oz (310g).

    Devices insideCPU,Memory,etc.): Hitachi SH-4 32bit RISC processor, 128MHz, 230MIPS.ROM:32MB, RAM:32MB, VRAM:2MB.

    Interfaces: Direct I/F to Wearable Display x 1, CompactFlash Type II x 1, USB x 1, Stereo Audio Headphones jack x 1, Cellular phone data port I/F x 1

  • Wasn't this... (Score:3, Informative)

    by geek00 (260622) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @05:24PM (#2996650)
    ... already reported here [slashdot.org]?

    Lets just copy and paste the comments from there, ok?
  • by cruelshoes (122132) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @05:31PM (#2996694)
    This is the same thing that was posted a little while ago. It's being sold in the U.S. by Xybernaut.
  • Re:Hehe (Score:0, Informative)

    by SweetAndSourJesus (555410) <JesusAndTheRobot@noSpam.yahoo.com> on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @05:32PM (#2996699)
    You're aware that most CE machines run RISC chips, right? You're also aware that the RISC architecture isn't Apple-specific technology, right?
  • by duncanIdaho.clone() (457271) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @05:35PM (#2996715) Homepage Journal
    this looks just like the xybernaut poma?

    poma [xybernaut.com]
  • by Vito (117562) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @05:39PM (#2996740) Homepage
    Or at least, I believe it is. It's been mentioned here [slashdot.org] before [slashdot.org].

    The Xybernaut Poma [xybernaut.com] is their OEM version of the direct-from-Hitachi model. Fifteen hundred bucks US gets you delivery before the end of Q1 2002.

    It runs Windows CE, has no audio inputs, and I don't think anyone on the wearables mailing list [blu.org] has actually gotten one yet to see what development will be like, but it's very interesting, at least.
  • by BJH (11355) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @05:39PM (#2996743)
    Here's a quick translation of the Japanese news release [hitachi.co.jp]:

    ------

    Industrial-use wearable Internet appliance launched in Japanese market
    Hitachi, Ltd.'s venture company, Net-PDA, (CEO: Matsuoka Shigeru) will begin shipping the WIA-100NB wearable Internet appliance, with head-mounted display, from February 28.
    Mobile computing needs are increasing with the spread of wireless communication infrastructure and Internet access from mobile phones.
    The company completed an OEM licensing contract for wearable Internet appliances with the U.S. Xybernaut Corp. in June of 2001, and has conducted marketing in Japan. As a result, it judged that wearable Internet appliances are an effective solution for work environments such as clean rooms and machine rooms where printed materials cannot be used, as well as for hands-free viewing of blueprints and Internet/intranet access via PHS [a Japanese form of mobile phone] and wireless LAN.
    The WIA-100NB, in order to meet these needs, weighs 310 grams for the main body, with the head-mounted display weighing a mere 80 grams, and the total package weighing less than 500 grams even with the addition of a pointing device. By rubbing the pointing device's optical sensor with a thumb, it is possible to move the cursor on the head-mounted display, allowing the operation of the unit in any position.
    Used as terminals for improving work efficiency, wearable Internet applicances are predicted to form a major part of the market for portable information devices. The company aims to develop this valuable market further.

    -------

    Then it lists the specs, and where to buy it (here [hitachi.co.jp], but you'd better know Japanese).
  • by Anemophilous Coward (312040) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @05:52PM (#2996823)
    First off, for those who mentioned this looks like the Xybernaut Poma, you are correct.

    From the main english Hitachi page [hitachi.co.jp]: FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA, July 18, 2001 - Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT) and Xybernaut Corporation (NASDAQ: XYBR), today announced that Hitachi has entered into a license agreement under Xybernaut's broad patents for wearable computing and communications to develop a Wearable Internet Appliance (WIA) for the consumer market.

    That said, I played around with one of those for a little bit when I visited the Xybernaut booth at Comdex. My thoughts? They are ok items. The screen projection is not too bad. Until you can focus one eye on the screen and simultaneously focus the other eye on faraway objects, you'll still only either chew gum or walk...if you know what I mean. The screen does flip up so both eyes can be used to focus on the task at hand when needed.

    Someone asked about the input device. The one I played with (and you can see in the photos) has a hand-held input device. It has a touch screen which you move your finger (or rather thumb) around on to move the mouse pointer. I don't remember a keyboard, but I think another model might have had small keyboard you strap to your forearm. Otherwise, I think the model I played with had an on-screen keyboard you can bring up and tap out virtual keystrokes with the mouse pointer. This of course was some what a pain in the arse for me...but I guess YMMV.

    This will be fairly useful in warehouse situations. Maybe on an assembly line: you can work on your task, and if computer assistance is needed, just flip the screen down and look up a part number or whatever. These still aren't the best for long-term computing sessions.

    -A non-productive mind is with absolutely zero balance.
    - AC
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @06:15PM (#2996983)
    I played around with the MA IV and found the curved silvered mirror to be comfortable and easy on the eye. I don't believe the light source could get to the "dangerous" level. I'd be happy to use the head display for an extended period of time, but the MA IV was heavy in the vest we wore. Since the company has moved on to smaller devices the weight might not be relevant now.

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