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Mitsubishi displays boost wearable computing market


October 12, 2004

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Wearable displays allow the user to visually interface with the omnipresent digital world whilst navigating their physical environment. It's no exaggeration to say that the SCOPO could very well be to the eye what the I-Pod was to the ear.

The SCOPO, however, doesn't obstruct your field of vision like some prototype displays. Instead it uses a small LCD screen that hangs over your eye and fills your vision, providing the illusion of a ten inch screen from a miniature surface. The headset has optional headphones and a small belt carried unit that contains the silicon that creates the images on the screen.

When plugged into a cell phone, PDA or laptop with video functionality, you can stream directly to your field of vision or vice versa, recording footage on the fly. The SCOPO belt unit does not contain a hard drive for storing video or computing itself.

The SCOPO is expected to cost only US $400 and the initial takeup is expected to focus on industrial and telecommunications companies, as well as the personal user.

As a portable and affordable digital interface for your existing PDA or mobile computer, the SCOPO promises real time data feeds and information that can enhance your life whilst on the move.

That gives you access to the full gamut of online resources, whether GPS navigational maps, yellow and white pages data, restaurant reviews and entertainment listings, or any text, voice and image manipulation.

It also facilitates immediacy in that you can access your software and data as you think about it, without having to reach for your device. In fact, the easy access headset design allows the SCOPO to be worn as a full time interface without interfering with your daily activities.

With an industry leader like Mitsubushi releasing a cheap and practical wearable display, substantial market penetration should follow as well as new cultural trends. The street finds it's own uses for things, and with the interaction of wearable displays with wireless internet and other emergent technologies, the digital and biological worlds are truly beginning to merge.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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