Video goggles turn Apple iPod into 27-inch ‘see-through’ TV

“When Apple Computer Inc. launched its video-capable iPod last year, some questioned whether consumers would embrace watching video on a 2.5-inch screen or endure holding the gadget to their faces for anything but the shortest of clips,” Ryan Nakashima reports for The Associated Press. “Now, with funky eyewear from MicroOptical Corp., iPod users can watch video on what looks like a 27-inch screen TV while, theoretically, maintaining some of the portability for which the iPod is famous as a music player.”

Nakashima reports, “‘The beauty of our technology is the see-through, see-around,’ Bruce Lampert, MicroOptical’s vice president of sales, said at the CTIA Wireless 2006 convention in April. ‘I can see through here. I’m walking. I’m not running into anything.’ So, I decided to try it out myself. After settling back to watch ‘The Apprentice,’ which I purchased from Apple’s iTunes Music Store, I was surprised to find that I felt comfortable enough to get up and walk about. Pretty soon I was ironing a shirt and washing dishes while watching apprentice wannabe Michael make mistake after mistake before getting booted from the show with Donald Trump’s famous finger-pointing phrase: ‘You’re fired.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Okay, that’s quite enough rain, thanks. At least the power is back on again…

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24 Comments

  1. I think MicroOptical and many of the comments above are missing the point by focusing on the issue of watching video while doing other tasks. It is obvious that there are many things that should not be done while operating this eyewear.

    If you can afford the price (and the ignominiousness of wearing them), it would be great for use while on public transportation or while stuck on a plane/bus/train. It eliminates the issue of screen size on the portable media device, none of which were ever going to be big enough for convenient viewing anyway. Hell, with these, your portable video device could be the size of the iPod nano.

  2. macromancer…

    Lighten up PAL. No intentions here to ruffle feathers, just promoting dialog. To your point, manufacturing such a device in the 90’s would have been cost prohibitive (especially at this size). Also, what market would there have been; using them with a laptop? We don’t know if there is anything preventing this from being a success because there has never been a product like this, at this price point, on the market (there, now I’m Capt. Obvious).

    F.U.B.A.R….

    Thanks for the editing advice. Do you come in a model that is a plug-in to Safari?

  3. Just a reminder here. Olympus made and sold wearable displays like these (only not see-through) in the mid-to-late ’90s. If I recall correctly, the price was about $600. I tried ’em, and they were kinda low-rez.

    Just checked the Olympus website, and there’s no such product listed. I don’t think it was a big seller.

  4. What this really represents is the psychological and cultural “backgrounding” of video content. We’ve always watched tv while doing laundry, ironing, or cleaning up. Because we are on-the-go ever more than before (in a constant state of busy-ness), we need our backgrounding devices to be portable as well. This means that while video content becomes more widespread, it also becomes less *valued* at the same time. So people are walking to work, sitting on the train, working out, all watching some video stream, but devoting even less and less attention to it. Will entertainment become less engaging because of this? It’s hard to imagine that it could be any less than it is now — which is why a device like this has little-to-no physiological barriers to acceptance: content is not very engaging, anyways.

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