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Head Mounted Displays Get Cheaper 165

Jason Swank writes "It looks like previous model of Sony's Glasstron was mentioned back in July, but it seems like they are now better and MUCH cheaper: 52" Virtual Viewing, 3.5 ounces, and only $499. " The one we reported on last july costed 5 times as much, but the cheaper model is 800x255, the $2600 version is 800x640. Still it looks pretty sweet. I wonder if I could use these without my contacts. That would make things a lot easier.
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Head Mounted Displays Get Cheaper

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    You are correct on that. The $2600 model is specifically targeted towards the PC market and hence why it has the "correct" resolution of 800x600 (and a SVGA connector). The $500 model is the actual TV model, which if you do have a TV out, could possibly hook up to a pc (or any other video source). It was a thought of mine to use such a display for lan parties to make an ultra-portable system since current laptops do not sport any 3d chipset that'll run a FPS with any decent rate (with the exception of the ATi Rage 128 portable, which I haven't seen a laptop of it yet. If someone knows of one, reply beneath this thread, as I would be interested in looking at it). Combine a microATX case, BX-based microATX mobo, a TNT2-Ultra with TV-out (which might be even overkill for the resolution running), 128mb ram, PIII, hd, cd-rom, floppy, NIC, soundcard, generic USB keyboard, trackball (my personal preferrence, other people like the mice with the wheel-doohikey.), headphones, and a sony glasstron, and you got a lan party system that'll fit in a backpack. Of course, if you have an open mind, there are i810e based mobo's that have imbedded Aureal PCI audio and 10/100mpbs NICs on-board that'll use the i752 video chipset and tv-out for a rather reasonable price. And the i810e support both the socket 370 Coppermine and Celeron. Food for thought. Ciao! Ozymand
  • No mention of a PAL version for us Europeans ?!

    Also the resolution seems a little low -- is
    180k pixels enough to be equivalent to
    a wide screen TV?

  • I used to work at a place called Reality Bytes, which was a cross between a Virtual Reality Gaming den and a coffee house. We used the Virtual IO iGlasses with their headtracker for our main VR head mounted displays. With the headtracker and PC interface, it was about a thousand dollars, but the Video (composite) only version was about $500 back then. Unfortunely, their isn't much demand for VR stuff, since many people saw movied like Lawnmower Man and were greatly disappointed when they experienced the real thing.

    But it *was* good. I still shiver when I remember playing the Doom II Alien Total Conversion...with the sounds and graphics from Alien. It was really creapy.

    Sometime VR Guy
  • by McKing ( 1017 )
    my cat's breath smell like cat food
  • Check out

    Similar spec, but a nice low price - and you can see the outside world at the same time, need one.

    (Still only TV in, no computer input, but its portable and some of the airlines are starting to take it for business class!)
  • I nominate a kick in the crotch as being funnier than Tom Green also.

    For a truly funny Green, check out Red Green []. Been on the telly for about 3 years now.

  • "Me fail English? That's unpossible!" (Ralph Wiggum)
  • It would take some fast-moving mirrors to get the resolution very high though. And, you'd need a blue laser to get full color... still very expensive AFAIK. But I will want to build one some day if such displays don't get cheap before I get around to it.

    It's also cool that with a laser display you can do either raster or vector graphics. So far vector graphics seem to be done more often because of the slow scanning speeds that mechanical mirror deflectors are capable of.

    My latest idea is to use a laser display to paint messages on other people's cars on the freeway. Stuck behind some slowpoke conspiracy of cars going the same speed across all the lanes? Well now you can let everyone else know just what you think of them.

  • Is that interlaced, or could this do the 480 progressive (480p) display that DVD is capable of? You'd still have to match it with a DVD player that can output 480p (not many - the Toshiba 5109 comes to mind).

    The resolution on the 800 x 640 model is actually 832 (H) x 624 (V), and it's the 'PC Glasstron, PLM-S700'. It also says that it's equivalent to 'only' a 30" screen approximately 6 feet ahead (different from the 52" mentioned in the cheaper, low-res version). Good news - it's got composite video in, woo-hoo!

    The problem here is - the TV I want to match up to a Toshiba 5109 is the Toshiba Cinema series 36" TV - 6" larger than the 'apparent' size of this thing, plus the TV is about $600 cheaper. Of course, I'll also be sitting more than 6' away from the TV. :) Then again, this ain't much good for when company comes over. *sigh*

    Decisions, decisions.

    To check out the expensive version, check this URL [] .
  • They weigh twice as much, and the resolution is worse.

    Not a better deal, IMHO.

  • I think you need to put your butt in motion, stop reading the soft pr0n, go outside, note the big fireball in the sky we call Sol and actually *MEET* a woman. I know.. it's risky... you may not return... but after you club your first one and drag her home it gets easier... =)
  • Hook up a camera, and you could probably use them instead of contacts. Then, of course, you could start doing all sorts of visual processing as well. Contrast enhance, zoom, range, IR, etc.
  • Thanks for that. You're funnier than Tom Green.
  • > Well, the glasses can only be used for television, and not for your computer--unless you use a tv-out card, but then the resolution would be very low, and text would probably be unreadable.

    Though it's resolution isn't great, it would be fine for a text console. X would just look weird, but that resolution should be fine for things other than tv.

    What I'm not sure about is what sort of inputs it accepts. From what I saw, it looks like it only has RCA a/v inputs, and not the analog VGA type that would be more useful.
  • Alas, comedy does not win this time. I already have a female companion, and have had her for over a year.

    As for the sun, I live in Washington. On the rare occasions when it does make an appearance, the clouds invariably sneak up on it and cloak it again.
  • That's right, they're just trying to minimize the chance of people trying to sue them. Of course children tend to be more prone to injury in many cases, and overprotective parents also tend to be very aggressive when someone or something hurts thier "babies." The "under 15" warning is a way of lessening the chances of a lawsuit without losing many customers (not many 15 year olds will buy this product, I bet).

    PS: I think it's:
    "Hens love roosters
    Geese love ganders
    Everyone else loves Ned Flanders"


  • you are right - but you are not a programmer, i guess :) 800 x 255 = 199K (180K = 184,320)
  • will notice that the cheaper model has more pixels per LCD (180K vs 150K) but states twice lower resolution. Why? Mistake?
  • the old glasstron is junk
  • I'm slightly far-sighted (or long-sighted for those in other countries) - do these things cause eyestrain? - or do they somehow get your eyes to focus at infinity Wearable displays use optics to focus your eyes at somewhere between 3 feet and 25 feet. 4-6 feet typical. The Glasstrons are set at 6.5 feet. []
  • I wonder how well this kind of display would work for people like myself, who can only see out of one eye... I have long feared the coming of Virtual Reality and display systems like this one, because I felt I would be held back by my disability. Does normal eye-vision have a bearing on the usability of this sort of device? Does anyone know?

  • I wonder where the price will bottom out on these. I'd really like to pick up a pair of the enormously expensive 800x600 to hook up to my Dreamcast, but I'm guessing it will be quite a while before it comes down to a pricerange I'm willing to pay. Does anybody have a clue as to about what the current production costs are for this?
  • The data I've seen on Glastron battery life leads me to belive they were created to eat batteries. For the SVGA unit in SVGA mode it chews 1500mA on a 7.4V battery.

  • The download plugin link on the Sony webpage only caters to Windows and Mac.....does that mean they won't be supporting the display under Linux?
  • I had been wondering about the image at every pixel and every pixel displaying a different color in every direction as well. I did some calculations given the order of magnitude numbers from Drexlers nanomanufacturing book (I can get you a reference if you like). He suggests that a 1000 Mips nanomechanical computer would take up only about 400 nm on a side, this is plenty small enough to sit next to a pixel on a display. And since it only draws around 60 nW there is no problem powering one at each pixel on the screen. Gota love nanotech. Oh there is the problem of transmitting light in each direction, I dont know exactly how that would work, but if you are ok with the display beeing a bit larger and the "LCD" (yah right) screens beeing a couple inches away from your eyes, then the angle that the display needs to work at is reduced considerably.

    Almost forgot, you can then use the computer to raytrace or whatever you like into a scene description and come up with the correct light in each direction from that pixel.

    Oh and I found my copy of Nanosystems, ISBN 0-471-57518-6 its by K. Eric Drexler, and its a pretty good book. I especialy like the beginning where he talkes about how different forces scale as you change in size by orders of magnitude. Its interesting to see how some forces just arent a consideration when you get smaller (or larger).
  • It seems I have met a challenger.

    You see I live in a small rural town in Saskatchewan that goes by the name of North Battleford. Our town has few men of my calibre, and even fewer willing to stand up to me in an M&M duel.
    I have been proforming rigorous testing religiously every weekday at 3:00pm at which time I go through exactly two 400g bags of M&M's to find the strongest of each bag. I save these chosen ones in a specially crafted Barrel of Monkey's container until I have ammased several hundred Chosen one's. After, several years I think I have found the strongest M&M ever produced by man or beast. It is twice the size of a normal M&M however X-ray, sonar, and density analysis show that is little, if any chocalate contained within it's candy coated walls.
    But I find now that I have competition. Let me tell you this, straight up. I like your style, champ, and I am willing to take you under my wing, train you and release you, and a team of elite Special Op M&M's, to the world to achieve World Domination. I have long thought those linux hackers are on the total wrong path; World Domination can only be achieved through specially chosen M&M's.

    Well, are you up for it?
  • The resolution is 800x600, it will do 1024x768 in overscan but is unreadable on text at that res.
  • I know I'll burn in hell for dissing the Almighty Sony...but I'd rather eat a dog turd than buy another one of their monitors. They seem to be specially designed to die precisely 30 seconds after the warranty has expired (as with three of the four Sony's I've owned...and I've heard of similar experiences from others).

    Regarding the short lives of Sony monitors, here's what I've discovered (I have a Sony Trinitron, 17", that's busted) These things fail frequently, but 99% of the time the cause of failure is the little thing inside which checks to see if the current in the monitor is too high (at which point the tube would start emitting dangerous amounts of radiation) This part dies and thinks the current level is ALWAYS too high, so it doesn't let the monitor power on. It's a $30 part and easy enough to replace yourself (although that would void the warranty).

    just FYI

    "Software is like sex- the best is for free"
    -Linus Torvalds
  • Yeah, most of these neat glasses things are hard to use for those of us that wear glasses. (And you're not a real geek unless you have duct-taped glasses, right ;-)

    But for something like this I imagine that they would be able to compensate by altering the image. You wouldn't have much use for the "see-through" feature, but nevertheless they would be useful.

    Well, perhaps "useful" isn't the word to describe these toys. ;-)
  • This product is not intended to be used by children age 15 or younger."

    I think it has to do with childrens developing brain-visual systems. Like VR messes it up or somthing. I remember there was a simlar warning with nintendo's virtual boy

    "Suble Mind control? why do html buttons say submit?",
  • only 12! Why would you suggest such a thing?!
  • *smile*

    The thing is probably likely to cause motion sickness in those people susceptible to that. Which for such devices would actually be a significant number since most people can not completely decouple the stationary visual imput to the motion they sense in their middle ear. Fi reading /. on board of a ship in heavy seas would create a huge discrepancy between the staionary visual imput and the rolling and bucking you would feel, rather like those completely covered rollercoasterrides in amusement parks.
    On the other hand, if I read the specs correctly the lenses/projection-screens can be made clear. With a small gyroscope built in you could project an artificial horizon in your surroundings which would actually be a decent antidote against motionsickness.

  • Any chance these things will be on laptops in the future? I'd guess that it would do wonders for battery life (or maybe not)

  • How the f**k am I supposed to get those headphones into my inner ear? Does this mean you need to get a cochlea implant or something???
  • Hmmmm
    Looks like your humour transplant didn't take.
    I'd sue that quack for every dollar you can get.
  • Crack is of course the less addictive form of Pokemon.
  • I know I'll burn in hell for dissing the Almighty Sony...but I'd rather eat a dog turd than buy another one of their monitors. They seem to be specially designed to die precisely 30 seconds after the warranty has expired (as with three of the four Sony's I've owned...and I've heard of similar experiences from others).

    Maybe the Glasstron is different. Maybe it works reliably for years. Watch me not care, not want to find out. Been burned by them too many times. I'd just as soon buy junk from Goldstar.

  • No, there isn't - this is an HMD (a Head Mounted Display). The mechanism used for tracking is called a motion tracking system (generally magnetic, acoustic or optical in design, though the really cheap systems, both homebrew and commercial, are mechanical).

    The two items are seperate - mainly because the motion tracking system can be used to track other things - arm, leg and body positions, for example...
  • by cr0sh ( 43134 )
    You are correct here - this is a pretty low res display, but one of the things people miss is the fact that on high motion games (like Quake, etc), once you "look past" the pixels - ie, focus past them, things begin to look better - too many people focus right on the display, which is bad in more ways than one...
  • The VFX-1 is a sweet piece of hardware - not a bad FOV (not the greatest), pretty high res, and well balanced - combined with the flip up front, it would be perfect for coding VR content and testing.

    I think this HMD is one of the best - the only better one I have tried is the 2nd rev of the Visette on the Virtuality 2000 pods...
  • Actually, the edge is closer to 60-65 degrees - and such FOV is attainable via a homebrew system, consisting of nothing more than cheap $1 fresnel lenses and cheap $50 handheld TVs. Such devices can and have been built in the past, and give decent resolution (if it is good enough for NASA...) - at a fraction of the cost.

    Of course, one has to be willing to spend a little time and effort here to build such a device, and your first one may not be perfect. Still, it is possible to do!
  • These statements apply for the following reasons:

    1. Eyes - because most people have a tendency to focus on the screen, rather than "just" beyond it, like you would for stereograms, so there is increased eye muscle strain, after using for long periods (they also don't take the damn thing off after 30 minutes or so, and relax, which you should also do).

    2. Regarding heart and blood pressure - probably due to the fact that having such a device show such a large image can cause (in some people), a form of motion sickness (actually simulator sickness), that causes nausea and higher heart rate due to the brain being confused by different signals (ie, you are playing quake and "running" down a hall, your brain sees you running, but doesn't feel you sway via the ears, or feel your feet moving, causing conflicting signals)...

    Thus, because of these two reasons, and the fact that everyone is "sue happy" - they have to have these discalimers...
  • Thanks, I just had a massive vic-20 flashback! =)
  • Yer.. we'll be waiting a long long time for good HMD's at a reasonable price. Normal, sane people (those folks who don't read slashdot and have morgages and wives) don't want to strap a monitor to their head. Hell, even hard core quake players don't want the things (but then again, I've never even seen quake players using that headset communication program at lan parties.. you just can't please some people). I think about the only hope is that high quality lcd's get developed cheaply for palm like devices and there's a spinoff of lcd's that are applicable to HMD's.
  • Try [] for a rather nice-looking monocular unit at SVGA resolutions. They're not selling it to the consumer market, so my guess is that the price will be rather high.

    Either way, I wouldn't worry too much, I've seen more monocular prototypes than stereo for standard computer applications. The only applications that really "need" stereo are gaming and VR.
  • How long until the wearer starts suffering from the effects of focusing up close for.. hours at a time?

    A third to half the day, every day for a week ?

    I know my eye doctor told me to glance away from my monitor and focus at something far away a few times an hour, for a moment or two and rest my lenses.

    Don't sit to close to the TV... no, have a 52" TV 6cm in front of your face ?
  • You should see the homepage of Steve Mann, at [], and the wearable webring []

    Be ready with a bucket for all that drool. On second thought, better get a boat :)

    "Now you can see that evil will triumph, because good is dumb!"
  • I tried it while I was in Japan at christmas.
    I wasnt actually that impressed. The resolution wasnt that good and it wasn't very comfortable (I think it was adjusted for Japanese people and wouldnt fit on my roman nose.)
    On thing it would be excellent for is watching a few DVD's on long hall flights, But where theres room I'd rather have a tv.
  • Since NTSC is an analog standard it has no defined horizontal resolution (it doesn't even have pixels) -- it just depends on how often you sample a given scan line. However, bandwidth, broadcaster, and CRT limitations keep the practical limit in the 500-700 range. The number of scanlines is, however, fixed so you always have the same number of scanlines (otherwise the TV wouldn't know where to display them).
  • check out []

    these are $399
  • and depends a whole lot on the woman...
  • If you noticed that, how about this:
    LCD Panel (2) .7" LCDs: 180k pixels on LCD, 800 x 255 (H x V)
    Now, two questions:
    1. Why does it say "(2) .7" LCDs" ?? I thought this cheap version did not give stereroscopic vision? Wishful thinking, I guess :)
    2. How do you compute 800 x 255 to get 180,000? I seem to end up with 204,000 all of the time?!
  • If I read the article correctly, this only connects to an NTSC source. Doesn't that mean that it doesn't connect to a monitor but only a TV/VCR etc. If so, what is the use of resolutions greater than 640x480? Is it just for something like HDTV? (My understanding was that NTSC was 640x480 (actually I think it was slightly less than that, but the general idea is that it was fixed size))
    Or are the more expensive models for different things?

  • I'm slightly far-sighted (or long-sighted for those in other countries) - do these things cause eyestrain? - or do they somehow get your eyes to focus at infinity>
  • I haven't personally seen one of these (although I'd like to...drool) but from what I've heard the refresh isn't all that good. Like >1 second and so forth. They're working on it. Does anyone know the stats for sure?
    Have you ever read _The Diamond Age_ by Neal Stephenson? This is the perferred means of displays in the book; imagine carrying around a folded piece of paper that is your web browser/desktop/computer. You can write on it and it remembers, transfer information between pieces of e-paper... I get aroused just thinking about it.
    It's a good book too. :)

  • Ahh I see another misguided fool has been suckered into thinking that M&Ms are really the strongest when we obviously know that from countless hours of clinical trials and research that in fact they are inferior.
    The greatest hacker of them all Willy wanka needed to beat the vile sorceror who conjured up the candy so he decided to make a team of Everlasting Gobstoppers(tm) and Nerds. Now we all know through so extensive similar nonbiased clinical trials that they will last longer.
    However some scientists have speculated that rarest candy of them all perhaps may be even tougher yet.
    George Mayfield of Planfield, Illinois the CEO of the bllion dollar a week Pokemon craze has decided to market Pokemon brand pellets of crack cocaine and sugar printed with smily faces and different pokemon characters through 150 (well actually its 3,000 with such original names as billgatesadrobe who uses his bloatware attack and RMSachu who will sing in a sweet voice about emacs and the one true source so his enemies will drop to their knees).
    So me and my everlasting gobstoppers and nerds with the full collection of Pokemon rocks will take on your silly M&Ms any day of the week.

    /* The raiting of this post
    1. -1 too acurate about hidden cultural truthsa
    2. -40 because I am using Xemacs to write this post and I made myself look foolist.
    3. -1000 Anyone knows that M&Ms are officially backed by Rob and therefore any post that desecrates the sacred candy will elicit a very bad attack of the drain_karma_really fast spell which also takes down 700hps from the character and causes blindness and confusion as well. This must be left up to people who didn't just buy their weight in pokemon rocks. :) */
  • Can you imagine trying to get XFree86 monitor timing configuration right, with one of these?

  • As a continuation, I had always thought that a solution could be doing depth of field in software and displaying the resultant image. You still need the gaze tracking hardware to figure out what the user is looking at and thus what depth should be in focus, but you wouldn't need the extra optical hardware, but now that I think about it this is of no use at all (well it would probably look pretty). The problem is that the blured image would still be completely in focus everyware. And once again, since your mind no longer has to keep track of focal lengths... disaster.

    I've been thinking about a similar idea. The "screen" is held at the same distance from your eye as a normal pair of glasses (about 2cm) - too close for you to focus on, but you don't focus on an image projected on the screen, you focus through the screen. The image is blurred using software so that each dot on the "virtual screen" (which you are focussing on) becomes a semi-transparent circle on the real screen (which you are looking through). Your eye resolves these blobs back into dots when you focus on the virtual screen, and the apparently long focal length gives the illusion of distance.

    Since you have a separate screen for each eye, you could even encode different parts of the image at different apparent distances (use different size/opacity blobs for different distances and show a different side of the object to each eye), creating depth of field. You would be able to change focus from an apparently nearby object to an apparently distant object just as you would in real life, and the other parts of the image would slip out of focus just as they do in real life (the blobs would be the wrong size to be translated back into sharp dots).

    Hey presto - slimline 3D glasses with depth of field, no tracking hardware required. And because the screen is so close to your eyes, you would get a very wide field of vision.

    The only problem that I can see would be getting LCD screens which were small enough (about 3cm * 4cm) but which had high enough resolution. Low resolution would not result in things looking pixelated as it normally does, because you would not be focussing on the screen. However, I think it would cause problems with focussing - objects in the virtual space would never be in sharp focus because the blobs would not be perfectly round.

    Can anyone confirm that this idea would work, given good enough LCDs? It's been buzzing around my head for a while now.
  • I still think this is doomed for those of us with glasses sans contacts. It doesn't look like it'll fit over glasses, and I'm sure it would be mighty uncomfortable if they did. I also have reservations about having my monitor any closer to me than it is, for fear of having it fused to me ;)

  • I want the laser that draws straight on the retina. These displays will be even better than the LCD head mount, all you will see is a thin wire that runs out just above the eye. They could be worn as a visor, or in a pair of glasses as well, and nobody would be able to tell that you were using any type of VDU other than the wire running down the side of your neck.

  • Ok, you've gotten your +1 funny. We'll be sending someone around with a meat cleaver in a day or so.
  • Do not use in the bath tub

    Do not use while using power tools

    Do not use while climbing trees

    Do not use while standing on a ladder

    Do not use while eating green eggs and ham...

  • All you'd have to do is attach some sort of circular sensor to the head and shoulders... It could sense the rotation of the head relative to the shoulders and turn the avatar accordingly. Small turn (10 deg. or so) means turn slowly, large turn (90?) means quickly.
    As for the wider field of vision, all they'd need to do is build an oversized pair or something. And in doing so they could most likely up to resolution to 1024 x 768...
    SVGA? That's probably not hard, although it may have to built specifically for that setting.
  • For those with an anti-monopolistic bent try m&m's vs smarties.
    And I thought I was the only sad bastard who'd ever think of such a pointless way to waste time...but fun!

  • I posted this a few months back... Go to our Tactical Neuronics Fresnel Lense Page [] to see how!
  • I first heard about Red Green in late 1993 or early 1994.
  • The Sony site says it's 52 inches of image with a focus of 6 feet (not 6 cm) => Your eyes will be in the same position as if you were looking at something 6 ft away.. but that just keeps your eyes from being crossed, not to say that being THAT CLOSE is good.
  • Notice that 800x255 resolution? Unless they can get the res higher I'm not buying. :( OTOH Once the resolution is around 800x600 I think this type of technology is a valid alternative to standard monitors. Sure you can't view it with other people. But 52 virtual inches is pretty good for $500. Now I wonder what the refresh rate is...

  • by d-rock ( 113041 )
    I guess it's technically a Head mounted display, but when I think of HMDs, I usually think of position/motion tracking sensors to go along with it (like for VR, etc...) Is there a different term for HMDs with sensors?

  • I can dress myself!
  • the cheaper one is only for NTSC signals (Composite, S Video, etc...). If the cheaper one had VGA in I would buy one tomorrow.

    "Any way you look at it, all the information that a person accumulates in a lifetime is just a drop in the bucket."
  • The eyes of children under 15 are still growing. Excessive near work may cause the eyes to grow into an elongated shape (I'm not sure if there are any formal studies showing this, but it would explain why nearsightedness progresses so rapidly in children that wear glasses). Once the eyes have finished growing, they are much less prone to change shape. Personally, I would be wary of staring into a screen just inches from my eyes for an extended period of time, even though I am in the recommended age range.
  • Individuals diagnosed with eye or heart disease or injury or high blood pressure should consult your doctor prior to use
    • forget your eyes... I'm trying to work out why the above applies?

  • You'd even sell your dick for karma.

    WHERE? Where can I get such a great deal? How many points do they give?


  • Bah, I say just hang an iiyama visionmaster 450 (sweet little things) off my neck and I'll use *that*. Decent resolution is very important on a monitor. Of course, it'd snap my neck in about a second, but hey.. that'll be fixed in the next service pack....

    More seriously - just wait about 18*2+n (n is how badly you want the device) months and it'll be reasonably priced and have a much nicer resolution.

  • anyone had the opportunity to see the xerox electronic paper scene up close? what up? will this be a viable, portable, low cost solution? when? alphie?
  • Funny, the site says they're $499. That makes them the same value technically, but with a lot less style.

    Anyway, I need glasses (short-sighted) - I'm much more interested in the little things etched onto a pair of "normal" glasses []...

  • A Glasstron LDI-D100B (800x600) has different images for each eye, but it will set you back $4475 US. It uses a field sequential stereo rather than two video inputs. I'm not a fan of that, but then it's one of the cheeper units on the market. [] sells it as well as other Glasstron units.
  • Hey, just give me a 10" color TV and an RF modulator ..... :) 20 and 40 column text! yippie!

  • Yes, it only has analog video input so you'd get only 300-400 pixels horizontally if you're lucky. At least they give the resolution. The VROS-1 [] page doesn't mention resolution, although $599.95 is mentioned.
  • Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball...
  • What it is referring to is ear-piece headphones, like the old gameboy ones.
  • This from the same company that said
    "Do not attach dual shock to any part of your body" or the like...
  • British measurements come in troy and avoirdupois flavors. Yes, it's not complicated *enough*.
    Troy ounces are 12-to-the-pound, and avoirdupois are 16-to-the-pound. Or possibly the other way around; I can't be arsed to look this junk up.
    So 3.5 ounces are a shade under 1/3 pound if they're the 12-to-the-pound kind of ounces.

  • As I read it this sends a single display image to both eyes. So if only one eye is working you're not missing anything.
  • ... in the Sony store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago just two weeks ago. Very impressive.

    That said, this is very much a first generation, low resolution device. It only accepts NTSC video - no S-Video or computer output. A 52" display may be the calculated virtual size, but don't kid yourself. It looks like you are watching a movie through binoculars.

    That said, when the second or third generation comes around and they get this right, this will be THE WAY to watch porno flicks and play video games.
  • I like my 12" CGA monitor just fine thank you.
  • I would actually buy one of these if:

    1. It supported SVGA
    2. It had an optional head tracking device
    3. It covered a wider field of vision

    This would probably cover about 30 degrees of the field of vision, but all VR studies show you have to cover about 70 degrees to get the "I'm there" feeling.

    Dammit, I've been waiting for this kind of thing for over ten years and they still haven't come close, although all the technology is there...

    Oh well.
  • Weighs 3.5 ounces...just under 1/3 of a pound! I don't know about all of you, but where I live a pound is 16 oz. That makes 3.5 oz just under 1/4 pound, not 1/3 of a pound.
  • Well, the glasses can only be used for television, and not for your computer--unless you use a tv-out card, but then the resolution would be very low, and text would probably be unreadable.

    I have also something similar, but they could be used with your computer too. You can find more information at TigerDirect's Homepage [].

    Also, does anyone know if these glasses are also available for PAL? The page says that it can be connected to any NTSC source but it does not mention anything about PAL.

    Did anyone else notice the warning? "This product is not intended to be used by children age 15 or younger." Does anyone have information on this? Maybe it does more damage to the eye than a normal TV screen?
  • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Monday January 10, 2000 @07:41PM (#1384792) Journal
    The VR folk have a term for the generation of nausia when the visual image and the inner-ear sensations don't match.

    It's "Barfogenisis"

    (Example: The Star Trek ride at Disneyland has just enough mismatch that, at least for me, there was slight nausea which hit as I was leaving the ride.)

    Apparently this is a survival mechanism: Under prehistoric, evolutionarily-significant conditions, the main thing that would cause significant mismatch between the motion perceived by the eyes and the inner ears was ingestion of a neurotoxin - typically from a poisonous mushroom or spoiled food. In such a situation, immediately emptying the stomach had a significant chance of allowing the victim to survive to reproduce when he would otherwise have died.
  • Darn right.

    They are making the same mistake as Casio did when they came out with their color projection TV based on a slide projector light source and lens, dichroic mirrors, and three monocrhome LCDs. It was tiny. It COULD have been high quality and inexpensive.

    Instead they used crummy low-res LCDs apparently left over from their midget black-and-white Radio Shack grade pocket TV sets. Half of TV resolution in each dimension, for an overall pixel count of 1/4 that of a normal TV set. (Then the projection lens blew it up to wall-covering size.) Rectangular (not square) pixels - so computer graphcis is a pain. To make it even harder: pixels arranged in a brick pattern (each row offset 1/2 pixel from its neighbors). And with a black border (i.e. "the mortar") around the pixels. (Blown up to wall size it really showed.)
    And to top it off they wanted several thousand dollars a unit. B-b

    This thing needs square pixels, 640x480 at dead minimum. And it should have a separate screen and interface for each eye - at least as an option.

    I recognize those earphones - I used to use the earphone-only equivalent all the time. Good audio. But they're fragile. They (actually their cabling) need to be plug replacable, or the headset will fail in about 3 months of use.
  • by BlightX ( 120254 ) on Monday January 10, 2000 @04:19PM (#1384794)
    Your parents always told you sitting too close to the TV would hurt your vision (though not go blind, that's reserved for other activities). People may now complain that they are having vision problems on account of being so close to the screens, or headaches and dizziness (common problems with headset-type monitors), and there'll probably be hundreds of lawsuits from people saying they have neck problems from supporting the monitors. Yes, 3.5 ounces is light, but that doesn't mean a lot of people won't try to capitalize on this.

    -"Everyone who counts loves Ned Flanders"
  • by worth ( 132011 ) on Monday January 10, 2000 @04:29PM (#1384795)
    Sorry, the right link is here. []
  • by RuntimeError ( 132945 ) on Monday January 10, 2000 @04:19PM (#1384796)
    • Caution
    • This product is not intended to be used by children age 15 or younger.
    • Individuals diagnosed with eye or heart disease or injury or high blood pressure should consult your doctor prior to use
    • Do not use while subject to external motion
    • Read instruction manual and all its safety instructions prior to use.

    Looks pretty deadly to me...

  • by Phexro ( 9814 ) on Monday January 10, 2000 @04:14PM (#1384797)
    Hm, from the page:

    Do not use while subject to external motion

    Well, this seems a bit unfair. This means that, say, a female could wear them during sex (internal motion) while a male could not (external motion). I say that we all go sue sony for sexual discrimination.
  • by mr_gerbik ( 122036 ) on Monday January 10, 2000 @09:28PM (#1384798)
    I too was in awe of the low price on the glasstron glasses. So much so that I ran to my local sony store to buy them. Before forking over my hard earned cash, I decided to test them out. Here are Dr. Gerbik's findings on the matter:

    Sony boasts that the glasses present you with a 52" screen that is about 6 feet in front of you. Here is what I saw. A 5 inch lcd screen 4 inches in front of me. I was impressed however with how the two lcd screens blended together as one. I was expecting to see some sort of line down the middle, or some overlapping.. nothing, it looked like one single screen.

    As for resolution, I thought it lacked. I demoed the glasses with a DVD copy of "A bugs life" The best way to put it would be to imagine watching the movie in a 240x160 window on your desktop. The LCD just couldn't push the kind of resolution needed to make the movie look good.

    In the end, they were neat. $500 neat? I decided not. I went home with some blank minidiscs in my shopping bag.. but no glasses. I would love to try the high resolution pair, but I'll definately be waiting on the price to drop... a lot. :)
  • by worth ( 132011 ) on Monday January 10, 2000 @04:26PM (#1384799)
    There is another version which can be used on your computer, creating a high-resolution, virtual 30-inch image. It has VGA/SVGA input capability, but unfortuantely, this version costs $2599.00, which is a little bit expensive in my opinion.

    If anyone can find more information on this product such as max. resolution, and number colors, please share it with us.

    You can find this computer version here. []
  • by mwarps ( 2650 ) on Monday January 10, 2000 @04:46PM (#1384800) Journal
    The prices might be going down on those HMD's, but i've had my solution now for a while. My Princeton Graphics EO75 shoulder-mounted display works wonders. I drag around my portable 750 watt gasoline-powered generator, and my killer APC UPS and bear the weight of my 47 pound monitor on my shoulders. It's a wonder for my six-pack, and damn, radiation... does a body good! I don't even need a nightlight anymore. And the CO from the generator is a breath of fresh air wherever I go. Complements never cease, from the "What the fsck is wrong with you?" to the "Damn, you're messed up." Walking in public is fun for the whole family. We don't need to go shopping anymore. People throw enough fruits and vegetables at us to last all week! Get your very own Shoulder-Mounted FST monitor today!!!
  • by valdemar ( 21900 ) on Monday January 10, 2000 @05:13PM (#1384801) Homepage
    I cant confirm this, because I dont know where I got the information in the first place. Your brain has a mapping from parallax distance to focal length. That is it uses the parallax distance of an object to determine how to focus on it. With head mount displays "everything" is in focus (not just things at a given depth). There were some kids early on that were using this sort of technology (as part of a study or something) and after a while they lost that mapping (to some degree I am sure), and where unable to correctly focus on objects in the real world. One solution to this is to use gaze tracking to change the focal length of the image dynamicly, but I dont know if that would even work. I imagine you would need to have a sytem that can track the users gaze and change the focal length faster than a human can change the shape of the lense in thier eye. Unfortunately there are other such mappings that we dont have an understanding of and well have to find them out as well.

    As a continuation, I had always thought that a solution could be doing depth of field in software and displaying the resultant image. You still need the gaze tracking hardware to figure out what the user is looking at and thus what depth should be in focus, but you wouldn't need the extra optical hardware, but now that I think about it this is of no use at all (well it would probably look pretty). The problem is that the blured image would still be completely in focus everyware. And once again, since your mind no longer has to keep track of focal lengths... disaster.

An egghead is one who stands firmly on both feet, in mid-air, on both sides of an issue. -- Homer Ferguson