Machine Design

Mission impossible?

New to the world of wearable computers is a portable VGA display

, claimed to be the first seamlessly integrated into a conventional eyeglass frame and lens. From MicroOptical Corp., Westwood, Mass. (, it features a combination of optics, electronics, and a microdisplay. A small LCD, hidden in the temple of the eyeglass frame, generates high-resolution, 24-bit color text, graphics, and video images (640 3 480 pixels, 60-Hz refresh rate). Users view the information through hidden optics, which magnify the image and present it to the eye with minimal obstruction to vision. Users see large images floating in space at an adjustable distance of a few feet.

"In the movie Mission Impossible 2, Tom Cruise wore a pair of glasses that displayed secret information in the lenses," says Mark Spitzer, CEO of MicroOptical. "We make this futuristic eyeglass concept a reality. Our eyewear displays make on-the-go communication, computing, and entertainment more practical by providing a hands-free portable, private, and nonimmersive viewing and listening experience."

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