MicroOptical Heads-up viewer

Is this an alternative to a big laptop screen? Could you put together a powerful computer in a small box that could work as a light weight alternative to a laptop -- a sort of a grownup alternative to some of the wearable computer projects around.

One alternative in the screen line is this MicroOptical viewer. It clips onto eyeglass frames (you can use clear ones if you don't need glasses normally) and projects an image into your eye. You can see the size in the bottom photo. What you can't see is that it is quite a sharp little image.

The sort of applications the makers mention are medical, military, law enforcement and security related. They can also be useful for complicated maintenance work where manuals can be called up while you work.

It could also be OK for a portable computer project except it would be nicer to have a bigger screen image. This item is quite expensive as well, running over US$ 2000.

It needs a VGA output and connects either by cable to a battery pack and then to the viewer. We weren't given an estimate of battery life.

There's also a heads-up unit for a camcorder which lets you monitor what's happening as well as a unit that does the same thing for a serial data stream... that could be interesting, and cheaper, but we didn't see one in action.

The display: when it's viewed properly it is a little bigger than this and is nice and sharp.

Well, is it an alternative to a laptop screen? For everyday use, not really. The screen is small and looking at it with one eye is tiring. And then there's the price. For special applications it could be just the thing -- where you need to glance at it occasionally instead of working with it... as the makers intended.

MicroOptical - USA
Inition - UK dealers

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