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Laser-based Virtual Retinal Display 114

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the gimme-some-of-that dept.
denmon writes "Seen on memepool: The HIT Lab has produced a virtual retinal display that paints a color VGA image directly on the retina using a low-power laser. They intend to miniaturize the components into a head-mounted display that will 'generate an inclusive, high resolution 3-D visual environment in a device the size of conventional eyeglasses'. Seems like Snow Crash gets closer every day... " Screw big flat screens, I want my interface right on my eyeball. Excellent.
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Laser-based Virtual Retinal Display

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  • No no no, three or four hundred years ago they would've thought it was a technology of the devil.

    do the obvious if you want to email me ...
  • by cduffy (652)
    You mean you might someday need to see something other than emacs?

    Naaah.
  • Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    I just read SC and I've rarely been so ambivalent about a novel. It was half really cool (some of the VR stuff was neat, the Mafia stuff was funny and the "neurolinguistic programming" was interesting) and half really really lame and overdone (the rest of the VR stuff, the heavily glossed over details of neuro-programming and one-dimensional characters).

    But the worst was the shaggy-dog ending. A whole novel of build-up and then pfft at the end.

    But I figured Neal was just starting as an author and so could be forgiven a few things. I then picked up Diamond Age. Very good beginning. Pretty strong middle. Very very loose end, what there was of it. Nothing wrapped up, no questions answered, all characters left up in the air. It's like he was told "Stop on page 450, no matter what". Lame.

    I will probably read a third Neal Stephenson book just to see if he's improved, but if I get burned a third time, it's quits for me.
  • Posted by jkollin:

    The initial technology was developed by a little bit of WA state seed money and a lot of money from the WA-based company that sponsored the research (Microvision)
    Don't assume the Feds fund all the ground breaking research in the world...sometimes things are a little too weird even for DARPA.

    joel kollin
    (one of the guys on the original VRD patents)
  • Since It's on your eyes.. would it simulate being surrounded by a huge monitor....???
    I'm not to sure about this one.. I'm sure my eyes will already go bad by looking at 10-15 computers a day.... ouch..

    Side note.... I wonder how quake would look.... =)

    ChiefArcher
  • I visited HITL last year to give a talk and chat with the people there. I was lucky enough to have a go with the VRD and I must say it was *very* impressive. These guys have spent a lot of time and money on this project (millions over years) and they've now got it down to a briefcase size.

    So I guess the bad news it that it'll be a while before this stuff fits onto a light HMD, they made noises about it being 5 years away, maybe more. Also, they're having trouble pushing the resolution. Given that the human eye has a res of about 10000x6000 (depending on who you talk to) and this display is 640x480 then it only covers a small portion of the visual field. Given 5 or so years maybe we'll have cheap hardware to generate graphics at that res too! That's the frustrating bit.

    The good bit is that the colour clarity is excellent and the picture is crystal clear and rock solid. And the extraordinary thing for me is that without my glasses it's still perfectly in focus! Because it writes directly onto the retina, effectively it doesn't use the lens in your eye, so people with very bad vision still see a beautifully clear image. It's kind of odd to take off my glasses and the whole room is a blur (mostly) and then to suddenly see a diamond sharp image looking like a flat panel screen hanging in space about 6 feet away.

    There is also some problems with spherical aberration if they try to may the image too wide and getting the scanning components to handle higher (and the right) frequencies. However, *most* of the hard work has been done and it seems to be mostly a clear road of progressive minaturisation untill it is a head mounted "heads up display" (with optional flip down cover for an immersed view).

    It doesn't take long to realise that this is the way most computer displays will go. It's not a matter of "if", but "when".

    cheers
  • This sounds familiar -- I believe this technology is already being developed by a company called Microvision at http://www.mvis.com/ [mvis.com]

    They have some interesting ideas for laser projection systems as well.

  • I've been following these guys for a while. I visited the HIT lab about 5 years ago, and saw a monochrome single eye tabletop prototype of this system. It was incredibly clear, and I'm sure it has only gotten better since then.

    I remember them talking about how the greatest limitations to the product were minaturized color lasers, and they were simply waiting for reduced-size versions to become commercially available. It looks like this is still their primary weakness. They are not developing the lasers or scanning hardware themselves, so they have to wait for it to shrink.

    For this simple reason, it's probably going to be a few years before anything is commercially available. Besides, it'll give us time to roll out high-bandwidth net access. Snow Crash here we come!
  • I guess that now I'll have to deliberately put my web pages in a different room, to make me get up ;)

    Seriously though, if you're using this and moving around, you'd better have a really good model of the environment or a camera mounted on the outside of the headset or something. Otherwise you'd be forever bumping into things.

    Anyway, MIT should to go over (yeah, all of 'em) to You Do It Electronics in Needham, and build the laser display into the shell of the Sony Glasstron [sony.com]. Which is not very good, and way overpriced, but looks very cool. I played with one over there.

    Don't believe the 52" thing though. It looked like a 20" screen to me....

  • must've read HIT as MIT. D'oh!
  • by named (3909)
    if you read the link at the top of the article called "how it works," you'll see that it's possible to focus individual pixels, and to make the images differ slightly between the left and right eyes. This is enough to produce true 3d images (as the brain is used to pervieving them, and not as we've trained ourselves to see them on monitors).

    I have a funny feeling that this would end up being a truly disturbing quake experience, and a truly nauseating descent experience... i think i'd want to be wearing a seatbelt when playing games. heh.
  • The Company Microvision was started to commercialize this technology and bring it to market. Many of the academics listed at the URL given are currently working for Microvision.

    Meanwhile, Mvis has been kicking out some neato jobs with the DoD. They just teamed up with Boeing to create a VRD for helicoptor cockpits.

    Display technology really hasn't advanced a whole heck of a lot in the last 10 or so years (just incremental improvements). This technology is one of the truly inovative things happening in the display world.

    And, Microvision is a publicly traded company: MVIS on NASDAQ.

    www.mvis.com

    my 2 cents,
    scottwimer
  • Actually, that's not the case. It's sort of complex to explain, but basically: in the real world, you focus on the location where an object appears to be. In these types of 3d goggles, your eyes are focused on an image which appears to be several feet away, but is actually only inches away. This can lead to really severe eyestrain, and there is a niggling bit of research to suggest that it could even cause developmental problems in children who use such devices for too many hours each day. Until that question is definitely answered, don't expect too many of these on the market, for fear of lawsuits.
    ~luge

  • Soon enough we can just sit in our bed and be lazy on those Sunday afternoons without even getting out of bed, or taking the covers away, or doing anything.

    We'll have the images going to our retina, anything we wanted to type or links we wanted to go to would automatically be picked up by brain sensors.

    Shrug, I dunno, I'm kinda worried about a world like that. Just makes me uncomfortable. Anyone else get that feeling?

    Probably won't happen in my lifetime anyway.
  • by Ryandav (5475) on Thursday April 15, 1999 @04:10PM (#1931266) Homepage Journal
    Cool, a story from my own home institution!

    One thing that has been mentioned locally that has a great deal of significance for myself is that the retinal display technology has some unforseen benefits, such as the ability to project images onto previously damaged retinas.

    A member of the board of reagents came by in a tour group to preview the technology they were funding. The board member removed his glasses when it was his turn and looked into the display. Stunned, he became excited and starting asking quite a few questions and asking about how it was working, seeming quite excited. It turned out that he (in an accident much like my own) had been involved in an accident that had destroyed his retina, the surface upon which this technology projects it's images inside of the eye.

    The retinal display, however, was able to bypass the previous organic damage and feed information almost directly to the optic nerve for perception. Result: He was now able to see in stereo, where he had spent the previous portion of his life with only the ability to see out of one eye.

    Since then, the project has incorporated at least one member of the medical staff from the UW Physicians Network, as this has some exciting possible medical uses for the future.

    Exciting, no?

  • i'm not so sure that i would be comfortable with a laser "painting" anything directly onto my retina... low powered or not! i would hate to see what a power surge would do to a person :)

    also, what if you had a pair of these glasses and you switched them with someone elses glasses. that person might be alittle suprised to find themself in the middle of a quake battle when they were only trying to read the morning paper... talk about a bad trip :)
  • Yes, why? Maybe because direct projection gives higher resolution, sharper picture, better contrast, better colors, less power consumption (I'd guess) and doesn't need lenses to correct the short distance between eye and display?
  • Can't really see the qualitative difference between that vision of the future and todays' millions of couchpotatoes that spend their entire workday in front of a machine (be it industrial equipment or a computer) and their entire free time in fron of a television. So lying still in bed surfing the net is little different from lying in the couch watching endless sitcoms.

    People have at least the option to be active on the net. With television, the only activity is choosing the channel and getting fat on junk food.
  • God those were great books!
    I haven't thought of them in years!
  • New human interface technologies frequently have very unexpected health impacts - for example, keyboards and mice are a big factor in RSI, and immersive VR can give you motion sickness as well as more serious perceptual problems for some time afterwards. For details on the sorts of problems people get with RSI, see http://www.tifaq.com.

    So I wouldn't rush to test this out - I'd hope that this would be tested for ergonomic and health issues, but no doubt it will be put on the market and then a few years later any health problems will surface.

    It sounds entertaining but inherently problematic - what if they discover people's retinas aren't so tolerant to this sort of continual illumination? What if your retina gets a pattern 'burnt in' like the old Mac toolbar on the monitor - will you need a retina saver program to prevent this?? I know someone who may end up blind as a result of macular degeneration (a disease of the retina) so perhaps I'm biased - for more info on this see http://www.maculardegeneration.org/.

    Excuse my cynicism, but I had RSI as a result of the last wave of new HCI technology, so I'll wait this one out.
  • into a big tank with nutrients being fed in and waste heat being used to... hey, wait a minute...
  • surprised he didn't mention virtual light............
  • Think of the loose ending as his signature.

    It wouldn't really be Stephenson without it.

    I can't think of a better ending to his books than what he provided. Why not just end them? I am glad I read each of them, even if I was disappointed when the prose just ended on the last page.

    Joe
  • Rob, don't give up your monitor just yet. I think sharing screen information might be a bit tough. On the subject of flat screens, I have yet to work with one, but one feature I could think of that th e flat screen would excel in would be ease of moving the screen for others to view as well as for seat adjustments. Have the mounts improved over the nearly impossible to move CRT mounts? Jesse
  • ..but at the weekend, I'm an adrenalin-junkie. And I'm not talking about Quake or HalfLife.

    Sure I'll wear the cybershades Monday to Friday, but, come the weekend, off they come, on go the Oakleys, I'm swinging over a thousand-foot drop by three fingers and fibre-channel disk arrays, TCP/IP routing and FDDI interfaces are definitely NOT on my mind.

    Adrenalin. Either you choke on it or thirst for it!

    The Dodger
  • Yep. But Rob's gonna test it for us. Right Rob? Let us know how you're doing after a few months of intensive testing.@)
  • Saw this at Gartner Symposium in August 1997 and was impressed by Microvision. Thought at the time that even low-power laser was "psychologically" intrusive even if safe...and therefore was unsure if Microvision would have a saleable commodity.

    I have noticed there is much more work being done on head-up displays (glasses) for body-worn computers and perhaps this is a better compromise.

    For example, HUD projected on safety glasses would meet all requirements for hazardous working...providing eye protection and...via computer and HUD...line diagrams, method, even remote, expert help.

    I can see this being of real and immediate use in the petro-chemical industry. Unions, management and people would take to it.

    It's a win-win situation.

    Who are the developers in the field...just Microvision? Whoever they are, watch their share prices...or even better...invest your nest-egg.

    ...the laser projected screen covers 130 degrees of vision, whereas HUD is more conventionally 45 degrees.
  • I agree. I think patents are totally mishandled in this legal system, too, which makes it even worse.
  • Can anyone think of a legitimate reason for choosing retinal scanning lasers over mini LCDs? Mini LCDs cost significantly less ($50-$100 each) because many are produced using cheap and readily available CMOS manufacturing techniques. (same a CCD camera). Several companies manufacture them: Colorado MicroDisplay, Kopin and Planar displays are all aimed at volume production. Most mini LCDs are 1/4" to 1/2" in size, many of which have integrated driving electronics, for color resolutions upto 800x600. Some less mainstream companies have 1" Mini LCDs with resolutions upto 2048x1960!. Mini LCDs have no moving parts and do not require calibration exercises before viewing.
    This news is nothing news anyway. Some of you may remember those retinal scanning LED HMDs from as far back as 1990. (Cannot remember the name of the manufacturer) The same company later made the display for the Nintendo Virtual Boy and some wireless handheld fax machine (still in production) you held up to your eye to view.

    - HuangBaoLin
  • So if the eye is somehow damaged, but the retina is intact, then vision can be restored??

    How small can something like this be made? Self contained in a pair of sunglasses - including cameras, projectors and powersource?
    Ultimatelly, could these be implanted? I presume the tech is much like a TV, so there's quite a bit of power needed, as well as a non-negligible aperture size.

    On the flip side - if code can be written to fry a monitor, could this fail and damage the eyes?
  • Hey Moe, nyuk, nyuk!

    POKE!
  • I remember hearing about a laser technology that could project a monochrome image using a moderate intensity beam on the retina of someone who is nearly 100% blind (those with the optic nerve still relatively intact). Could this technology be used similarily with higher power? If so, I think a lot of people could have a second chance to see (well, it's not perfect, but better than nothing)
  • >Can anyone think of a legitimate reason for choosing retinal scanning lasers over mini LCDs?

    Retinal scanning lasers minimize the eyestrain associated with viewing a head-mounted-display 14-hours a day. This is critical for wearable-computer applications. None of the mini-LCDs pass this test.

    >Some of you may remember those retinal scanning LED HMDs from as far back as 1990.

    The LED HMDs from 1990 were made by ReflectionTech aka Reflection Technology. The product was called the P4. It was not retinal scanning. It was an excellent product -- by far the best head-mounted-display technology yet mass produced -- but not anywhere near the quality of VRDs.

    Don't bother looking for the product -- you won't find it. ReflectionTech sold the patent recently to a company in Japan. If it's ever produced again you'll know about it.

    Essential reading:
    http://wearables.www.media.m it.edu/projects/wearables/ [mit.edu]
  • >There is also some problems with spherical aberration if they try to make the image too wide and...

    Not to mention a problem with whiplash "if they try to make the image too wide." Not a joke. People move their heads a lot when viewing large desk-top monitors. If you view a wide screen you automatically move your head to view things on the extreme right or left. If the image moves with your head... chain reaction and... snap!

    Of course, as Thad Starner points out, this is why HIT's body-stabilized-spatial-information-display research project is so important to the future of wearable computing (where monitor resolution isn't so important):

    http://www.hitl.washington.edu/res earch/wearint/ [washington.edu]
  • First of all, greets to you, fellow Husky. (Not many UW people at SlashDot, from what I've seen.) I'm an EE Alum, graduated in '96.

    It's nice to know that my Alma Mater is spending the HUGE amounts of R&D money it gets on projects that have a positive social aspect. This is exciting technology, and I don't mean from a Lawnmower Man perspective, either. As an EE, I studied quite a few technoliges that were touted solely for the sake of increasing bandwith/power/MIPS/etc... and that to me, seemed more like science than engineering. The application of technologies such as these, especially in ways that enable people to overcome disabilites, is phenomnial, and very exciting!

    It's hearing about projects like this one that make me look forward to going back to grad school.

    Cheers,

    Ken Crandall
    ken.crandalL@mindspring.com [mailto]
  • They did say in the article that the image could be semi-tranparent as well as fully opaque. So you should be good walking around with it :)
  • They did say in the article that the image could be semi-tranparent as well as fully opaque. So you should be good walking around with it :)

  • Man, I love his stuff. Diamond Age definately get kinda goofy in the end but I didn't have much problem with how Snow Crash or Zodiac ended up.

    BTW, anyone else read The Big U? Funny book... completely different than his other stuff though. I had to look it up on the net to make sure it was same Neal Stephenson.

    Apparently he's kind of ashamed of it (or so I've heard) and keeps it kinda hush-hush. Of course, what do I know.
  • It's really encouraging to hear of major developments for the handicapped, such as these.
    Just kidding: I assume it was a human reagent, not a chemical reagent.
    You must have meant "regent".
  • I think you're worried a bit much. Do you panic
    when you get scanned at a supermarket checkout counter? I can say from experience that you shouldn't place an eye where two scan stripes intersect. Minor retinal burns healed in a few weeks.
    However: 1) Laser light is light, and by no means as harmful as ionizing roadiation; its danger is (ordinarily) that lasers are extremely bright. Apparently even a modest laser pointer has a brightness about equal to the sun.
    2) Low-cost solid lasers have a peak wavelength that is already fairly well down on the eye's spectral sensitivity curve; they are, in a manner of speaking, so extremely red that they don't seem as bright as they actually are. CD player lasers are an extreme example; their subjective brightnesss is downright dim, because they are just barely within the visible spectrum, so to speak.
  • Yes, death and taxes. Although I am a law-abiding tax-paying citi.... naahhhh.... not yet, just permanent resident, I do not consider this hudge amount of money that is deducted from my every paycheck is supposed to be spent on something good for people. IMHO taxes is just the most expensive service you can buy in this world today. You - pay taxes, World - leave you alone. Think of an awful lot of heavily armed people ( sometimes refered to as army ) who do not come to take your money personally, think of all those cops who do not use their guns on you even though they could get away with it, think of public transportation that is still transporting... somebody... somewhere... :) This is what you pay your taxes for, so that all this huge basically uncontrolable and uncontroled structure of govermental organizations just lets you live your life in peace.
  • I see you have certain prejudices about collective mind society. Join us and you will understand. Refuse and you will be destroyed. Resistance is futile. :)
  • Awesome!!! The best thing that could have happened to the project for funding purposes. Get a board member with a vested interest.

    I've seen this before off of the wearable computing list (wearables.blu.org). This will be an awesome thing to have when it's cut down to size.

  • There are failsafes to protect the eyes from damage, but with lasers you never know. Hopefully the odds will cut down to those of dying in a traffic accident or better; though if a regent was willing to go through with it, it must be pretty safe.

    Their goal is to eventually have it head-mountable. If not as unnoticeable as Mann's glasses, or the microoptical's, it will probably get small enough to wear without extra support. I can almost guarantee that eventually it will get unnoticeably small.

  • It's not MIT, it's UW. Steve Mann has a neat ``mediated reality'' setup with his glasses. The incoming is fully computer mediated. wearcomp.org

  • The great part about this is that you can have your specific vision programmed into the computer. The interface can then work to maximize your viewing ability by knowing where your blind spots and the like are. Since it will be a direct to retina mapping, it should be able to modify it to seem like real world. This would cut down on monitor eyestrain.

  • I read on the wear-hard list that it's his own design. Not surprising that he'd make his own hardware, when you look at his history.

  • Im glad it went to a cool laser display system, rather then to some fat old white guys pocket who found a loophole in the system.
  • I hope that they fixed it so that the laser no longer begins to burn your eye after 30 minutes or so...
  • I can't imagine why. It'd probably be a matter of inputting your prescription into the software that drives the display, so it can modulate the signal accordingly. It's going to be so close to your eye that it might not even be an issue.

    I dunno, photons is photons. You're exposed to photons all the time...I can't think of a reason that getting your retina bombarded with coherent light would be any worse than getting them bombarded with regular light. Of course the power output would be VERY VERY VERY low. 100 watts is a lot of laser, but it's not a lot of lightbulb.

    My uneducated guess would be that coherent photons (again, of very low power) hitting your eye would be a lot less bad than having stray cathode rays hitting your eye (like from this CRT we're all sitting in front of).
  • Human: Doctor, it hurts when I go like this!
    Doctor: Well, don't go like this.

    I don't think that there's any reason to fear having a laser rasterize on your retina. It's no different from the photons that you encounter all day, the difference being that these photons happen to all be oriented the same way. Of course you wouldn't want high power outputs, but fuses are easy to design. This is cool technology, and there's no engineering reason that it couldn't be made perfectly safe.
  • There is no engineering reason why Chernobyl couldn't have been made safe. There are many financial and political reasons why Chernobyl wasn't made safe. Just like there can be bad engineering, there can be good engineering. Is your contention "Because there have been two widely publicized nuclear disasters in the history of the modern world, all new technology should be assumed to be dangerous and horrific, and we really ought to go back to tents in the woods with no sanitation and chasing our dinner with spears"? Don't be ridiculous.
  • In these types of 3d goggles, your eyes are focused on an image which appears to be several feet away, but is actually only inches away

    That is true of conventional 3d goggles, but the type being experimented with in the story is direct retina feed. Meaning your eyes don't focus at all. It's projected directly on your retina, this would be analogious to jacking a display directly to your brain almost. Although they diffinetly would need to work out eye detetion menconisms for something like this so that the display can respond to movement of your eyes, otherwise you could quickly develop lazy eye, I would imagine or some other weird symtoms.
  • Accually this happens all the time. Though generally not the patented part, I don't believe its really possible to get a patented on technology that was developed in a university, though I may be wrong, as I often am. But quite frequently University projects funded by the government get extra funding from a large company, with the promise that they will get the info first, though I think there are time laws on how long it can be before it becomes public domain. It still gives such companies a huge advantage. For instance Intel is funding several university projects on creating quantum mechanic based processors. Who do you think will get this info first!!
  • Actually, in Snow Crash the lasers scanned across his glasses, not directly into the eye. The Snow Crash method wouldn't be very practical, since it would be difficult for the stationary laser emmiters to hit the glasses if the user turned his head. :)
  • What I thought was really exciting was in the same issue they were talking about using a CAT scan device to image an entire human body, then put the images together by computer into a 3-D image. Couple that with this system, and surgeons have the ability to perform exploratory surgery without having to open you up.

    Very impressive!
  • Straight from Microvision's 1998 SEC form 10-K (the annual report):

    "The Company has incurred substantial losses since its inception and expects to continue to incur significant operating losses over the next several years."

    Maybe one ought to look at fundamentals before randomly investing in a company who MIGHT develop a cool product 5 years away :)

    James
  • Anybody use one of them? Anygood?

    And I don't know about lasers on my eyeball. I have a surge protector but I don't want to rely on it *that* much. I have bad enough vision right now.


    --

  • This is not like viewscreen goggles: those just produce unfocused light a few inches away from the eyes, and your eyes have to focus on something nearby (incidentally, though it makes the display bigger and heavier, you can make it optically far away, so your eyes focus as if 20 feet away, or whatever distance you choose, practically eliminating eye strain; you can also buy such optical devices for use while reading or working with computers to protect your eyes).

    This retinal laser display does not use a screen, it produces a virtual image with focused laser light, which is only a valid image at the point where the eye is. This virtual image can exactly simulate a screen 6 feet away, or one 3 miles away, or a 3-dimensional scene where you must refocus your eyes to bring different objects into focus.

    Try closing one eye, facing out the window and holding your hand three inches from your eye. Look at your hand, then look at something outside (I'll say a tree). Notice how when you look at one, the other is blurry. With a little practice you can focus on either while keeping your eye aimed at only one.

    This is why stereoscopic displays are only marginally more convincing than single flat screens. Your focus still follows that of the camera, not that of your eyes. However, with this new display, you could refocus on different objects like the hand and the tree (even in a static display; the machine doesn't need to detect and intelligently respond to the changes in your eye).

    Basically, a high-res (I mean really high res, like 100,000 by 100,000) image from this machine would be indistinguishable from a real-life scene.

    The really great thing is, most 3D games and other virtual environments already use Z-buffering, so they have depth information readily available. Nobody is going to have to make serious modifications to their software to take advantage of this feature.

    Of course, it is important to note that this is not a real sci-fi hologram. The virtual image is, as I said, only valid from one point (the eye). Pixels can't hide behind each other; in real life, when you move your head to the side you can see around obstacles. To add this you naturally need a head mounted diplay with position tracking to create the new image when you move.

    Excuse my pedantry, I wanted to cover everything (not my sig, but it should be).
  • micro IMax?
  • There is consumer resistance from this user about staring into bright lights and pseudo-retina phospher burns.

    If you want to see a fancy display, let me slap you on the side of the head and you will see virtual star display - neat huh? maybe that'll knock some sense into you NOT to stare into lasers period.
  • Sounds like governments need to crash, like in Snow Crash, and go 100% commercial. General Jim's Defense System? Admiral Bob's Global Defense? Central Intelligence Corporation? Burbclaves? Just so long as we don't have 8 foot tall bikers with H-bombs and computer programs that can scramble brains....
  • That's a damn primitive way of doing it......some John Hopkins medical people are doing cool research into directly stimulating the optic nerve/tract for blind people.

    At the mo they use external cameras to get the images, but it would mean Neuromancer/Johnny Mnemonic stuff in under 10 years.

    Of course, all that will be under medical research, which is why I'm doing medicine. Hehheheh.
  • Does anyone know what Prof Mann is using for display now?
  • Gawd, I loved that place. Some of the most amazing stuff. It was there that I was first confronted with the idea that some man might be so overweight as to have a belly-button with a diameter measured in decimeters. Ah, nostalgia.
  • Well, there go all my plans for touch screen interfaces...
  • Hmm...don't think I'll be an early adopter on this one.
  • It would be nice if we could directly benefit
    from the tax dollars spent, but most gov't
    funded research looks to American private
    industry to develop and commercialize new
    inventions, the govt doesn't want to be in that
    business. How else to get products into the
    hands of people then to provide a commercial
    incentive?
  • hmmm...
    Geordi La Forge and his VISOR?
    that sounds primitive compared to this...
  • Hmm.. I wear contacts.. does that mean I have to take them out in order to put this sucker on? Really tho.. I'm not quite comfy with a laserbeam shooting into/onto my eye.. just doesn't catch me as quite kosher.

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