Tired of squinting at blockbusters on a three-inch portable media player? Connect your device to a personal-display headset, and movies will appear on a virtual three-foot screen that seems to float several feet in front of your face. The goggles let you watch movies from media players, phones and laptops; they can also show films in stereoscopic 3-D. Images from tomorrow´s visors will look even more natural-and so will the headsets.
Click here to check out the the personal video headsets of today and tomorrow.
Later (2015): University of Washington True 3-D Technology
Your eyes focus on the scene naturally for more realistic viewing. Goggles can cause nausea in some wearers by confusing their depth perception. True 3-D avoids this by letting you bring different planes of the image into focus, just like in normal vision. It can also augment reality by laying virtual images over the real world-say, yellow arrows from your GPS system to guide you home. www.hitl.washington.edu How it Works: True 3-D adjusts the focal point of each dot of light so that it seems to come from a real object at the appropriate depth. Focus on the person running in the foreground, and the exploding car behind it looks blurry, and vice versa.
Now: Icuiti iWear
No batteries required: the iWear sips power from your video iPod. Inside the goggles are two tiny LCD screens-made up of 230,000 pixels just 15 microns across-magnified by a system of grooved lenses. The resulting view looks like a 35-inch TV with near-broadcast-quality resolution. And the iWear does the iPod one dimension better, by playing 2-D and 3-D. Movies formatted for 3-D show different images to each eye, creating the illusion of depth. icuiti.com; $300
Soon (2007): Lumus PD-20 Series
No screen to block your vision-The movie beams right into your eye. Slightly less conspicuous, this prototype set weighs less than an ounce and lets you see the world around you. An LCD microdisplay on the earpiece magnifies the image and reflects it directly into the side of the lens. The light waves bounce around inside the lens until they reach embedded mirrors that enlarge the image and direct it into your eye. A two-display version gives you 3-D. lumusvision.com