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A Computer Display
In Your Glasses

PeoplePC Online

At last month's International Symposium on Wearable Computers in Seattle, MicroOptical debuted its prototype projectable-display glasses (see the photo). A tiny LCD in one temple generates high- resolution, 24-bit text, graphics, and video, viewed through optics hidden in the lenses. The display is projected in front of users, right in the middle of their surroundings, as if they were watching television.
MicroOptical is in partnership talks with PDA manufacturers and wearable-computer companies. Within the next two years, thanks to an alliance between MicroOptical and Essilor International, a maker of ophthalmic lenses, consumers will be able to purchase Bluetooth- enabled eyewear with MicroOptical's embedded technology from stores such as LensCrafters as part of a complete prescription eyeglass package, which will cost $400 to $600. MicroOptical is also looking to make the glasses compatible with cell phones.
Letting users pick standard frames and not blocking their view of their surroundings have been elusive design goals, according to Paul Zavracky, MicroOptical's president. "These have been our objectives from the beginning," he says. "People will be able to sit on a train or walk around and have access to information like e- mail, the Internet, GPS, and movies-and they won't have to wear helmets."
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