The Times reports:
THEY are the ultimate gadget for anyone bored in a queue or commuting to and from work: video sunglasses.
Connected to a portable DVD player, mobile phone or digital camera, the Teleglass projects films, text messages or pictures directly on to the left lens of the glasses, filling the vision in that eye but leaving the other free to allow the viewer to move around.
The gadget’s manufacturer, Scalar, a Japanese medical technology company, says that the design is a cross between the magnifiers used by dentists and the hands-free displays that help helicopter pilots to aim a machinegun.
It believes, too, that it has struck upon a commercial winner. Teleglass has already been a hit with a select few Tokyo commuters who managed to get hold of early versions of the gadget. The first batch produced by Scalar was discreetly sold from its website – and sold out almost immediately. Now the company is now embarking on a large sales drive and should have the devices in Japanese stores within a few weeks.
Although the Teleglass is ideal for watching DVDs on a portable player, it is principally aimed at mobile-phone users. High-tech Japanese handsets now regularly feature a flash memory chip slot and have the ability to display MP4 files – a format that compresses films or television shows into a form that can be viewed on a small screen. The phone can sit in a pocket while the glasses project the film to the wearer’s eyes and almost nobody else is the wiser.
The appeal is obvious, but as well as appealing to commuters, students in dull lectures and anyone who has ever stood in a queue, Teleglass is expected to be of huge interest to airline companies, with whom Scalar has held talks already.
We will add that other uses for this device one day might include magnification (visual field alteration?)–when connected to a camera–for patients with visual problems, or just plain old magnification to help the elderly read easier.