It looks like the days of glasses that have built-in displays requiring big clunky batteries are nearing an end. Vuzix has announced SMART glasses technology that can display a hologram on an eye piece while still allowing the wearer to see the rest of the world. When we tried the prototype, we were easily able to see full motion video through the lens but could still see the real world as well. From the press release:
This amazing new technology starts with a compact display engine capable of hi contrast and brightness for outdoor use. The output is then relayed into a 1.4 mm thick polymer waveguide lens with input and output hologram structures on the surface which squeezes the light down the waveguide and then two dimensionally expands the image back into the user's eye, creating an image that is then mixed into the real world.
Vuzix also announced a new product, the Wrap 1200VR, which they call "the world's first high-resolution 16:9 widescreen virtual reality eyewear with see-where-you-look head tracking." The device looks like a pair of sunglasses with headphones coming off the back and provides a big screen movie effect for the wearer. While not as impressive as the holographic glasses, our limited viewing found the picture quality to be better than expected. Battery life is roughly four hours and this could be a great idea for people who travel a lot. The Wrap 1200VR is available now and retails for $599.99.
During our discussions with Vuzix, we were told that they envision the holographic glasses technology will initially be used in the military and commercial space but they hope that products will trickle down to consumers in 2013.
Image Courtesy of Vuzix.com