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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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  • Yes, sir, you bet. I'll get smurfing right away. Regardless of color.
  • It will happen some day...
  • Look Out! (Score:3, Funny)

    by RumGunner (457733) <rumgunner&hotmail,com> on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @06:14PM (#2996603) Homepage
    We'd better get a head start rolling out the laws banning using these while driving.

    You know some people...
    • Not to mention... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by AndroidCat (229562)
      Please turn it off while attending movies. And I imagine libraries or court rooms wouldn't be good places to be fragging people in Quake.

      Gak! It's bad enough trying to hold a conversation with someone who just has to answer their phone when it rings. Now it's going to be "You've got mail!"

      And all those people who get useless calls on the bus. Now it's going to be like being on a bloody Borg ship!

      Gotta get me one of those! :^)

      • Gak! It's bad enough trying to hold a conversation with someone who just has to answer their phone when it rings. Now it's going to be "You've got mail!"
        On the bright side, the world will become far quieter as every single teenage girl on the planet eschews vocal communication in favor of a 24/7 connection to AOL Instant Messager.

        --
        Damn the Emperor!
        • Until they come out with a voice entry unit.

          "ya, so, like, I was rohfull and loll."
        • I did actually think about an application while I was waiting for the bus today. It would mean going the full Borg route. (Cell phone, PDA, processing, HUD, etc.) It wasn't that cold for Toronto in the winter, except that up until now we've had spring weather. Cold wind with teeth in it.

          The TTC [www.ttc.ca] web-publishes maps and routes and suggested times that each bus will go by. They also have a data system for each bus to report exactly where it is. (Not published, but that's what scanners and software are for.) Combine.

          I want a system that tells me when the bus is a couple of blocks away and I can leave the mall and walk to the stop and get on. I suppose it would need a GPS card as well. So be it, I remember what cell-phones were like cira 1984.

          Either that or migrate to California where the jasmine blooms in March, but the exit signs are green...

  • by UsonianAutomatic (236235) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @06:15PM (#2996606) Homepage
    Are you downloading pr0n on your wearable internet appliance, or are you just happy to see me?
  • I can see it now:

    Do not use while operating heavy machinery. May cause drowsiness, dizziness, and occasional disorientation.

    etc.

    • Nah ... you just have to use it upside down.Their Q&A covers this situation :

      "This device is specially designed for WIA.You will touch the window shining blue on the device, and move the finger to the direction you would like to move the pointer in the screen.You can use it in any situation.You can use it upside down, which is preferable when you read books in bed, or when you have to read a maintenance manual while you are working"

      Remember - Safety First
    • hmm sounds to me like the internet is boring and doesn't look very good...
      what about a seizure warning? I'm sure some jerk has a page that flashes red and blue at the correct rate to cause seizures.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I really wish I could think of something insightful and witty, but this kind of technology is just dumb.

    NEVER has wearable computing EVER taken off. It makes you as dorky as that freak whose parents bought him the calculator watch for his birthday in third grade.
    • by s20451 (410424)

      It makes you as dorky as that freak whose parents bought him the calculator watch for his birthday in third grade.

      That was you, wasn't it?

    • Re:This is dumb (Score:4, Insightful)

      by PhotoGuy (189467) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @06:56PM (#2996845) Homepage
      Hey, it was only a few years ago that I looked geeky with one of the early Palm pilots. People used to stare and point and comment all the time. Now whipping out a Palm doesn't draw any attention at all.

      But before wearables become commonplace enough not to be freaky, they really have to become more useful, less obtrusive, better UI's, longer battery life, and far lower cost. We're a little ways away from conquering all of those, but it will happen in the next decade, I would imagine.

      -me
    • It makes you as dorky as that freak whose parents bought him the calculator watch for his birthday in third grade.

      ... Maybe that's why i was never popular in school..

      ... and i doubt the Ti-85 filled with games i wrote myself helped much...
    • It makes you as dorky as that freak whose parents bought him the calculator watch for his birthday in third grade.

      Nah, if you REALLY wanted to be a dork in grade school, you needed the Transformer watch! :)

    • It makes you as dorky as that freak whose parents bought him the calculator watch for his birthday in third grade.

      Hey, I thought that kid was cool!

      Oh... wait...

      I'm a freakin' dork, I forgot.
    • Heheh... I'm one of those dorky people who got a calculator watch for his birthday. I've had it for about 10 years now. It still works too! Casio's stuff lasts forever.

      If I could afford a wearable computer, I would probably use it. :)
    • It makes you as dorky as that freak whose parents bought him the calculator watch for his birthday in third grade.

      Funny, I asked my parents for a calculator watch when I was in the 3rd grade. Later, I had one that stored phone numbers.

    • Check out some stuff about "Augmented Reality".

      Boeing is using wearable computing and location tracking equipment to project wiring diagrams over physical parts of airplanes being assembled. This decreases installation errors and the giant pile of blue prints an installer would have to carry with them.

      Imagine being able to have your car repair manual on one of these things while you're stuck in an odd position working under a car and don't have a free hand to turn to the page you need...
  • Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by iacyclone (180583) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @06:22PM (#2996641)
    Why does anyone need this other than the simple reason "because we can have it"?
    • The exact same thing has been said for the computer, the PDA, the calculator, and the television.

      None of these are items you need. Nobody needs this. Desire of objects is a part of normal human behaviour.
    • I can't stand these types of questions, but here's one answer:

      It's like a webpad without the need to hold the screen in your hands. You lose the touch-screen capabilities, but it will probably be easy to scroll through pages of data.

      If you don't understand why WebPad's are going to be cool, then go read some sci-fi or try using your imagination.
  • by Adrian Voinea (216087) <{adrian} {at} {gds.ro}> on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @06:23PM (#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

    • Input Devices?

      Keyboard? Microphone? etc?
    • Hitachi is the OEM for Xybernaut. Here's the link for the Xybernaut Poma... 1500 bucks!

      http://www.xybernaut.com/newxybernaut/Solutions/ pr oduct/poma_product.htm

      It's not much more than a top-of-the-line iPaq with a VGA sleeve and goggles... Still a big investment when compared to a Palm Vx!

      ~v
      • Better to get the POMA in the States than wait for imports of the WIA. Current street prices are around 285,000 Yen (~$2200 US). Also, the interface will be in English with the POMA, without any modification.
    • This is, of course, off-topic and all, but has anyone else ever noticed that all that is required to receive Karma (+1 Informative) is to simply announce that you are, in fact, a "karma whore" at the beginning of your post...

      Meanwhile, while people are regurgitating facts and figures from the article that everyone **SHOULD** have already read anyway, the rest of us are all left out in the "Karma Cold"© posting our educated and thought provoking opinions (this post being an obvious exception...)

      Just makes you wonder...

      • all that is required to receive Karma (+1 Informative) is to simply announce that you are, in fact, a "karma whore" at the beginning of your post...

        I hate to karma-whore like this but, you are a freaking dipshit.

        Now, let's see those karma points just roll in!

      • I have disproven your thesis.

        It was worth the karma points.

        Though I must point out that the crack-smoking moderator who downmodded me twice, while leaving you untouched...well, let's just say that, next to him, you hardly appear to be a humorless dipshit at all.

    • I don't think that the battery life is measured in inches. This would be greate with 256Mb> compact flash.
  • Wasn't this... (Score:3, Informative)

    by geek00 (260622) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @06:24PM (#2996650)
    ... already reported here [slashdot.org]?

    Lets just copy and paste the comments from there, ok?
  • by jgaynor (205453) <jon AT gaynor DOT org> on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @06:25PM (#2996659) Homepage
    The English FAQ, located here [hitachi.co.jp], contains some wonderful translations. Here are some examples:

    "Therefore, you can get your desk-top PC level of images from PDA size and weight of control unit."

    WIA will come with you and present all the images while you are relaxing in couch, sofa, or even in bed.

    This device is specially designed for WIA.You will touch the window shining blue on the device, and move the finger to the direction you would like to move the pointer in the screen

    You can use it upside down, which is preferable when you read books in bed

    Dont get me wrong - this looks like a great product - it just brought back memories of "someone set up us the bomb."
  • by kvigor (66615) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @06:27PM (#2996668)
    Amazing! The Japanese promo literature is all correctly spelled, while the Slashdot story has at least three egregious errors. Unless "smurf", "shinny", and "Weib" are meant as some kind of sophisticated humor.
    • Perhaps you missed it, but the individual whom submitted the story and was being quoted intended the "smurf the weib" comment to be funny...this is quite obvious as it was followed by a half-assed © symbol - (c)...

      While I agree that it wasn't funny, at last I checked it is not the Slashdot Editors' responsibility or duty to protect us from lame attempts at humor!!!

  • Smurf the Weib (c) via PHS or wireless LAN on your shinny new wearable SH-4 32Bit RISC processor running Windows®CE3.0

    Shinny? Do you wear it on your leg or something?! What am I missing!!
  • This is the same thing that was posted a little while ago. It's being sold in the U.S. by Xybernaut.
  • this looks just like the xybernaut poma?

    poma [xybernaut.com]
  • by ratajik (57826) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @06:37PM (#2996727) Homepage Journal
    Every wearable computer to date that I've seen won't fly... because it's waaay to visible (See: All the Dork comments). Saying that, from the specs and (small) number of pictures of this one, it might actually be useable. If you can really put that thing in your pocket, and just have the pointer and HUD when you need it... well, maybe. It'd sure be a lot better then lugging around a lap top (at 11 oz and 5x3x1).

    I'd like to see people actually wearing it. Is it fairly invisible? Does it look like you should have a helicopter hat on? Something in-between?

    -Greg
    • My first thought was that might be good for a Japanese commuter stuck in a crowded train. The dorkiness factor would be offset by its usefulness. Additionally, the Japanese love their gadgets, and consider hi-tech to be rather cool.

      In America, they'll just beat you up, steal your lunch money, you'll be the last person picked to play in a dodge ball game, and you'll end up being a troll on /.
      • you'll be the last person picked to play in a dodge ball game

        Only because most geeks are sedentary. At my school, dodgeball players were picked based on the performance that they had demonstrated, not on any character stereotype. Sure, the agile geek might get picked near the end before the first couple games, but that can change quickly.

        See also "Recess." (Yes, I know Di$ney is evil [wikipedia.com], but still...)

  • WIA What??? (Score:2, Funny)

    by NOT-2-QUICK (114909)
    While this is a quite interesting and intelligent question from the site's Q&A section, I believe that the answer was translated to English by the same people that did the translations for 'Zero Wing' (AYBABTU)...

    Q: Do I need to close the other eye?

    A: It is not necessary, and keep the other eye open is easy for this particuler display.Because a semi-transparent mirror is used so that the eye looking the displayed image will also see the"real-world" in some extent.Therefore, the display image can be seen just an additional object in the real world.

    While mocking a poor translation on the site's Q&A page may seem a bit trivial, I think that this is a valid portrayal of why this will not work well in the US. Not only will they not supply the necessary marketing hype to get this thing off of the shelves and on to peoples heads, but as evidenced by their site's translations they are hardly catering to an English speaking market. Furthermore, in a country whose citizens are as vain about their appearance as Americans are (I know, I'm one of them...), I doubt that walking/driving around with one of these carbuncles attatched to your face is going to catch on quickly...

  • by Vito (117562) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @06:39PM (#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.
  • Excuse my lack of Windows CE knowledge, but don't the vast majority of CE applications run on StrongARM processors instead of SH's? I thought SH-x's for WinCE were somewhat obsolete?

    Oh, and seeing as how it hasn't been asked yet...

    <Slashdot> Can we put Linux on it?
  • by BJH (11355) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @06:39PM (#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).
  • From the Q&A on the website:

    Q: Does it have focus adjustment?

    A: It is not necessary. Screen image will be presented at 2 feet from your eye. To see it is exactly the same as you see real objects at 2 feet from your eye. If you need corrective eye glasses or contact lenses, you can use them while wearing the display.


    Obviously the display is not 2 feet from your eye, i.e., sticking out from your forehead by two feet. So there must be some optic gimmick to make it appear 2 feet from your eye. What kind of gimmick is this that would never need focus adjustment for any reason, such as, oh I dunno, I have a big protruding forehead so my display is further from my eye than the next guy's? Can someone familiar with optics shed some light on this (no pun intended)?
    • I probably sit a different distance from my tv than you do, but neither of us see a need to focus a tv. The only reason they answer a (hypothetical) question about focusing, (I suppose), is that people may compare the device's display to a telescope or binoculars since it goes close to your eye.

      The reason the display "appears" to be two feet away is because it is basically up close to your eye, so pretty much fills your view from that eye.

      Actually I think they are playing on the concept of those "iglasses" or whatever they were called- you know, the ones where you gave them a video source and they displayed it on a pair of spectacles. The difference with these when compared to this display is that the "iglasses" showed a different picture to each eye so you could create the impression of a giant cinema screen (you can create false depth information), and secondly the "iglasses" wouldn't let you see anything else except the display- this display sounds as if it is either transparent or you can see round the edge of it.

      graspee

    • My guess is that it probably uses a series of mirrors to redirect the light to your eye. Add a couple of well placed lenses and your total focal length is 2 feet.

      Therefore, display appears as if it is 2 feet away from you when it actually isn't.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    "...running Windows®CE3.0."

    And where did they put the Reset button ?
  • I, for one, am delighted to see this announcement. This appears to be very nearly the device that I have been saving my pennies to purchase. I had not actually expected to see one, though, so I was preparing to buy one of the Linux-based Sharp Zaurus thingies.

    The fact that this dream device is being pre-announced is obviously a move to keep me from buying a Sharp in the immediate future. So that means that Hitachi must have found out that the production release of the Sharp is going to happen any day now.

    So HOORAY! The Sharp is on the way!!!

    Or not.

  • DONE!!! [devnull.net]

    not sure about the whole shinny thing though...

  • Hands-free referring to manuals, etc.
    You mean, as opposed to the carpal tunnel syndrome-inducing Braille screens we all use today? The only thing hands-on about reading a manual is turning the pages, but even with this device I'd still have to use a hand to scroll through a digital manual
    The display achieves desk-top PC level quality in mobile environment... WIA will come with you and present all the images while you are relaxing in couch, sofa, or even in bed.
    What a breakthrough in mobile computing! That's about as mobile as my 1992-model PowerBook. If only I'd thought to duct tape the laptop to my head so the display sits in front of my face... I'd be rich today!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Manufacturers expect consumers to wear these devices -- often for hours at a time -- but no substantial testing has been done for health risks.

    Nobody knows what the long term effects of wearing a tiny screen a few inches away from your eye might be, and nobody has bothered to find out. This is characteristic of the technology sector, though. No one considered the risks of keyboards until people started losing the use of their hands. No one asked if monitors were healthy until people started going blind.

    I am not anti-technology, by any means. However, it is ridiculous to destroy one's body for whatever short term gains you may be pursuing. Ultimately, it is an individual's responsibility to assure their own safety, but callousness of manufacturers is appalling. Until congress forces a change, though, I doubt health considerations will be taken into account when designing a product.
  • So now I can read slashdot everywhere I go, and won't have to ever be without it for more than 10 minutes. Maby I can get some first posts in too...
  • by Anemophilous Coward (312040) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @06:52PM (#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
    • I don't remember a keyboard, but I think another model might have had small keyboard you strap to your forearm.

      While that might excite the anime fans out there, it isn't very useful to the power user, as it virtually guarantees that you can use only one hand. What might be a better idea for a keyboard is a wireless little thing (with full-sized keys) that can be used with one hand and held in the other, or set on the lap to be used with both hands. If that were the case, however, you would have to have some other way to attach it to your person for the probably frequent occasions you are not using it.

      The point of a machine like this is to be able to use a computer anywhere, at any time, without having to worry about carrying it or going back to your desktop. If you are going to use it for a few hours, you might as well be at your desk.

      On a lighter note, can you imagine these things used in conjunction with the Segway Human Transporter? People whizzing around thoughtlessly on twowheeled machines with more distracting machines attached to their faces, paying little attention to each other, except to swear in bewildered surprise when some "obnoxious punk kid" crashes into them because they weren't paying attention.

      It will bring a whole new aspect to the arguments over distractions at the wheel.
      • People whizzing around thoughtlessly on twowheeled machines with more distracting machines attached to their faces, paying little attention to each other,

        We are borg. We just don't know it yet.
    • 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.

      One of the professors here at Georgia Tech, Thad Starner, has been making (and selling, to a limited degree) something like this for years. Glad to see it hit the consumer market.
  • by Skirwan (244615) <skerwin@ma[ ]om ['c.c' in gap]> on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @06:54PM (#2996832) Homepage
    Q: Wow, can you imagine a beowulf cluster of these?!

    A: Yes I can, it's called a Borg Collective.

    --
    Damn the Emperor!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Think about it; are you going to walk around the with this high-tech eyepatch on? And do you really need to be viewing /. in full color while away from your computer? I just can't see any practicality in these type of devices.

    Sure, they look cool, but I won't be buying one anytime soon. Besides, I would probably have to stop paying rent just to afford it anyway... I'd be kicked out of my apartment, but at least I can browse the interet with a headset!
  • Color depth (Score:2, Interesting)

    by suso (153703)
    Full color.Color depth is 18 bits, 260,000 colors

    WTF? 18 bits?
  • This product will fail for the same reason all the other "web appliance" products have failed. The necessary data infrastructure isn't there. Previous products, like the Audry, didn't fail because their display technology wasn't cool enough. They failed because there's still no way for the average non-geek consumer to connect such a device to the Internet.

    Someday (hopefully in my lifetime!) high-speed access will be pervasive, affordable, and not require constant hand-holding when used by ordinary people. When that happens, the IAs will come thick and fast. Until then, they're just another way to fritter away VC cash.

  • Gargoyles (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lostboy2 (194153)
    Countdown to Snow Crash [brown.edu]!

    Right now this is Just Another Geeky Toy, but it doesn't seem like it's that far of a leap from the numerous PDAs that people love to carry around.

    Personally, I'm waiting for x-ray goggles! ;-)

    -- D
  • by Anonymous Coward
    now the excuse can go from:

    "Sorry officer, I didn't see that other car, i was too busy shaving and drinking my coffee..."
    to...
    "Sorry officer, I didn't see that other car, i was too busy checking my e-mail and reading the latest stories on slashdot...."
  • Let's see. It has a "head mount AND a pointing device".

    Must be the newest cadillac...

    http://hitachi-magic-wand.com

    Don't forget your G-Spotter Attachment Accessory!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    The device puts a one inch box directly in front of your nose and expects you to read text from it? Can you imagine the number of people who are going to end up cross-eyed?

    "Sure, my carpal tunnel syndrome is gone, but I broke my right arm when I tripped over a desk in the office."
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Moreover, you don't have to be an ergonomic engineering genius to figure out that the design they have is not going to stay where you put it. Even one ounce eyeglasses need to have nose braces to keep them from falling off. Besides that, without semi-transparency (like MVis), the device just blinds you -- fine for a desk but it can't help mobility any. (Ever tried working on an old style microscope for several hours?)

      Incidentally, according to an old CNN article [cnn.com], Xybernaut cut a deal with microvision to distribute head-mounted laser displays within the year. Since the article is old, maybe its not happening anymore, but it would seem to be a good reason to wait on these devices improving a little.
  • by LiENUS (207736)
    Recently divx was ported to the Dreamcast (see the pocketdivx forum at http://forums.projectmayo.com) i wonder what kind of graphics chips this uses (i know the dc one uses the pvr in the dc for yuv overlay double buffering stretching soon flipping and a bunch of other complex things that would eat up a lot of cpu time)
  • Now you can be a lonely isolated loser out in public!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    you`ll be laughing at this in a few years!

    `Check this one out! Check your email on the move!! Yeah, but wait until you get home before you can reply!`

    Surely the future of communications is speech, not converting what you would normally have said into words, and then typing them in?

    As if listening to cell phone conversations wasn't annoying enough, now we'll be listening to AIM conversations as well.

    "...I love you. Smiley face. Ok, I've got to go. I'll see you tonight. Wink smiley face."

    "No, you log off first. No, you first..."

    Blah!
  • wrong OS choice (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ledbetter (179623)
    This isn't a MS bashing comment or anything, but WinCE seems to me like the wrong OS to use for a device like this... The only consumers who are going to be interested in this device are, well, Geeks! Geeks would much prefer a Linux or BSD based OS for this type of device.. something that can really be played around with.

    I don't see many applications in a corporate setting either, and even if there was, corporations can pay people to develop apps on whatever OS they want.

    Either way.. it's probably way too early on for this type of device to catch on.
  • I don't want to put anything that transmits radio waves near my body. These corporate fools who create this technology never bother to test its effects on people. Or no, I should say they do know now that cell phones are dangerous; that's proven. So why should I put some Hitachi piece of junk on my hip? Wanton lust for technology will not make me do it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I was just wondering whether this is the kind of
    device Bill Gates hides his face behind when he
    appears as a
    slashdot icon [slashdot.org] from time to time...
  • by autopr0n (534291) on Tuesday February 12, 2002 @08:34PM (#2997544) Homepage Journal
  • I thought I could only get so much internet porn a day. Now, I can get it while I drive, go to the bathroom, and attend church. Technology is so great. I thought I was going to have to sign up for the playboy service that sends dirty pictures to your cell phone to get my daily fix, this is gonna be great.
  • Oh god oh why?? why WinCE 3.0??? it has to be the single worst oparating system (mobile or otherwise) since the dawn of mankind. _Any_ OS is better. Its devoid of even the most basic functionality and features. Its unstable, its full of shit, and just to top it off, its made by them... Just look at the Pocket PC user sites, the most popular programs are just utilities that add basic things like being-able-to-switch-and-close-tasks... why would they leave this out of such an OS? were they in a big rush to finish the entire thing in under a week? because thats what it looks like. But seriously, could someone please tell me why it is so crap?
  • so when I see something cool, I can SHOW someone else instead of just describing it. also, with the video stream being captured to a more powerful machine, I could teach it to recognize stuff, so I could ask "where did I put my keys?" and it would respond by showing the last captured frame with my keys in the picture. Add some face recognition stuff and I don't have to remember names anymore, they'd just automatically show in my status bar when someone approaches.

    it'd be nice to change the focus to make the image appear farther out so you could walk and have GPS sensors point out items of interest as you go....

    I wonder how well this thing would capture video and audio from a USB cam and transmit it to a remote machine on a wireless lan?
  • but I find the whole concept of 'wearable computers' to be pretty stupid. I for one am not about to give up the use of one eye, even partially to wear some computer thats with me at all times. I'll keep walking into things. Plus I'll look like a moron. I see these as the next pocket protector :) With about as much usefulness. Sure, I guess it would be cool to be 100% connected, 100% of the time, but then again, maybe not. Personally, I enjoy being able to get a break by shutting off my laptop. Plus I like having my peripheral vision unimpared while I use a laptop or desktop.

    Yes, I know there are geeks out there who would have a display adapter wired directly into their brains if they could - but we're talking minority.

    I just don't see what is so wonderful about a wearable computer. Yes, there are probably niche applications where they will be cool like someone who needs computer access while doing work with their hands, or some other type of function. Handicap accessibility, yup - great. But again, we're talking niche here. As an IT technician, do I really want to walk around to people's desks with a wearable PC on my head just to pull up reference docs? Nah - I'll take a laptop.

    I know people swear one day we'll all talk to our computers or 'think' commands into them - but I sincerely doubt it. I for one think wearble headset computers with retinal displays will be the thing of sci-fi movies for ever except in niche areas. Me? My 3lb laptop is just fine. Just because we can doesn't mean we should.

  • Is it possible to intall some decent OS on it ? It would be nice to compile a kernel while jogging in the forest ;-)
  • Then we could frag our way to/from school on the bus. You get come home to see that the bumpy ride home threw you off the ngWorldStats top 100, wait hell you can check that while your backtracking home because you missed your stop.

    flak cannon = UT weapon immune to bumpy rides

  • :-d.... I do think this is a pretty damn awesome piece of tech... except for the "winCe" bit... horrible OS.... But how hard would it be to seperate the display from the CPU. etc...? As for usefullness... i think this is probably the first usefull piece of tech ive seen in years... er the first significant advancement... of course the first few versions are gonna be trial and error crap... but i dont think it would be too hard for people to change the OS or to make user adjustable display elements.... such as transparency / display on-off / depth /distance...etc.... i dont think thats a problem at all... Can you imagine if APPLE got it hands on this tech? That would be one heck of a computer.
  • Anyone know the expected retail price?

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