Over at IT PRO, I’ve posted a new blog post about a very cool piece of prototype technology I saw demonstrated in Spain yesterday.
Using retinal projection, images such as pictures, movies and 3D shapes are projected using a low-light micro projector directly onto the eye. This produces a viewing experience similar to a big-screen display like a cinema screen or a very large plasma screen at close range, but without the need for the actual fixed display.
It’s not going to be for everyone, and it is nowhere near ready for commercial applications do to a lack of a suitable minature mobile power source and the fact that Brother, the company responsible for it, has yet to minaturise the majority of the electronics that drive the micro projector. Oh yes, and we don’t really have a suitable wireless technology for connecting the projector (usually mounted in a pair of glasses) to the media source such as a phone network, set-top box etc.
The technology and the concept also reminds me a lot of the game glasses from the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode entitled The Game, in which members of the Enterprise crew find themselves subject to mind control after playing a computer game that beams a 3D display into the players eyes, and uses mind power to move the playing pieces (red floating discs) around.
The Brother technology is hopefully not as sinister, but it is also probably 10-20 years away from hitting the market, due to the power delivery problems and the lack of any suitable battery technology that is small enough to keep it portable, yet powerful enough to run the glasses for any prolonged period of time.
This is a “one-to-watch” technology, and another example of something from Star Trek that has inspired a real-world technological manifestation.