Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The HMD and the Washing Machine

Should see-through head-mounted displays be also used for completely immersive (non see-through) applications? Technically, it's certainly possible. Just put a dark cover on the front glass, and you have something similar to being completely immersive. However, having the extra weight, the not-quite-as-bright image and a bulkier product is certainly a downside for dual-use HMDs.

This reminds me of the washing machine / dryer combination. What a great idea on paper - no need to move laundry from one to the other. In practice, there are so many drawbacks to this combined approach that most everyone still has separate washers and dryers.

Not to showcase my age too much, but as a teenager I owned an Apple II computer. Not an Apple IIc. Not an Apple IIe. A real Apple II (serial number had 4 digits) and at that time, it would connect to our standard TV through a small conversion box. But, even though it made sense at the time, computers migrated very quickly to separating the TV from the computer monitor. Same concept, different time.

So... I still think see-through HMDs and fully-immersive HMDs should be kept separate for now.

1 comment:

Larry said...

Well, I just have to share what happened to me last summer: There I was flying to Vancouver to install a high-end Sensics fully immersive HMD at a customer site. On the way I grab some reading material at the airport, notably the book "Spook Country" by William Gibson (famous sci-fi/cyberpunk/vr author). The book is set in the very near future and has augmented reality as one of its the book this one group uses augmented reality to give people tours of places in CA where celebrities have died---you put on the AR visor and go to the actual hotel or whatever...and then the vizor superimposes on your view the scene when the celebrity was discovered. Gruesome, eh? Yet, I can see people paying for that and it is totally possible with today's technology. But I was just stunned to be reading that book on my way to Vancouver--where WG lives!--to install a high-end VR system...what a coincidence.