Coming Soon to an Eyeball Near You

There is an interesting post on the TI blog, How Small is Too Small? In the post, Gene Frantz stated that the screens on some cell phones are too small and practically unreadable. On the other hand, PDAs’ screens have grown at the expense of keyboards. Now might be the time to consider separating the display from the device itself. He then proposed using near-to-eye (NTE) high-resolution micro-display that runs wirelessly from a wearable digital processor. Naturally, the NTE microdisplays will require a head-mounted device (HMD) in the form of eyeglasses, goggles, visor, or headband.

Now that is an interesting idea. Can you imagine how cool it would be to couple the HMD with a bluetooth headset? I’m thinking a portable Xbox or the ultimate digital movie player. How about mounting a camera on the HMD too? Being a father of three young children, I have often wished I had a digital camera mounted on my forehead to preserve those precious moments. By the time I retrieve my camera, the moment is gone. My children have moved on with their little lives.

Obviously, HMDs have some obstacles to over come. I can just see people stupid enough drive with them on. I’m not a doctor (I just play one on TV), but my guess is that a display right in front of your eyeball isn’t exactly good for your eyesight. Nevertheless, the idea of separating the display from the device and using a HMD is very interesting.