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Google Displays Technology

Adjusting to Google Glass May Be Hard 154

Posted by Soulskill
from the unless-walking-into-things-is-your-preference dept.
New submitter fluxgate writes "Steve Mann (whom you might know for his having pioneered wearable computing as a grad student at MIT back in the 1990s) writes in IEEE Spectrum magazine about his decades of experience with computerized eyeware. His article warns that Google Glass hasn't been properly engineered to avoid creating disorientating effects and significant eyestrain. While it's hard to imagine that Google has missed something fundamental here, Mann convincingly describes why Google Glass users might experience serious problems. Quoting: 'The very first wearable computer system I put together showed me real-time video on a helmet-mounted display. The camera was situated close to one eye, but it didn’t have quite the same viewpoint. The slight misalignment seemed unimportant at the time, but it produced some strange and unpleasant results. And those troubling effects persisted long after I took the gear off. That’s because my brain had adjusted to an unnatural view, so it took a while to readjust to normal vision. ... Google Glass and several similarly configured systems now in development suffer from another problem I learned about 30 years ago that arises from the basic asymmetry of their designs, in which the wearer views the display through only one eye. These systems all contain lenses that make the display appear to hover in space, farther away than it really is. That’s because the human eye can’t focus on something that’s only a couple of centimeters away, so an optical correction is needed. But what Google and other companies are doing—using fixed-focus lenses to make the display appear farther away—is not good.'"
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Adjusting to Google Glass May Be Hard

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 01, 2013 @07:49PM (#43050725)

    A mugger attractant that's more visible than white Apple earphones.

  • by MCSEBear (907831) on Friday March 01, 2013 @08:51PM (#43051143)
    You might want to listen to the guy who figured out how to pull this off without damaging the user's eyesight decades ago, Google.

    TFA:

    Google Glass and several similarly configured systems now in development suffer from another problem I learned about 30 years ago that arises from the basic asymmetry of their designs, in which the wearer views the display through only one eye. These systems all contain lenses that make the display appear to hover in space, farther away than it really is. That’s because the human eye can’t focus on something that’s only a couple of centimeters away, so an optical correction is needed. But what Google and other companies are doing—using fixed-focus lenses to make the display appear farther away—is not good.

    Using lenses in this way forces one eye to remain focused at some set distance while the focus of the other eye shifts according to whatever the wearer is looking at, near or far. Doing this leads to severe eyestrain, which again can be harmful, especially to children.

  • Re:So... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 01, 2013 @11:28PM (#43051955)

    It doesn't matter. We have TWO articles on Slashdot in the last couple hours about people re-engineering the wheel and ignoring everything that came before. All these hotshot idiots with their attempts to get into orbit "their own way" are no different than Google Glass doing it "their own way" and ignoring all prior art, prior study, and prior expertise.

    I've met Steve Mann. He's misunderstood, horribly geeky and incredibly brilliant. I was shocked that Google hadn't consulted with him first before they decided to chunk together their own wearable HUD. Mann has been doing this for longer than Google has existed. He is a walking laboratory and he knows, from experience, what the fuck he is talking about.

    I'm sure Von Braun is laughing from his grave at these space jockeys, saying "You did WHAT?" Similarly Mann is shaking his head at Google.

  • by Rational (1990) on Saturday March 02, 2013 @05:30AM (#43053015)
    Well, since that ship already sailed, or will sail over the next few years, you can retaliate by recording them back. To paraphrase David Brin, the next best thing to privacy is two-way surveillance.

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