Myvu is running a special on their "shades" video goggles, and David Molnar has been interested in augmented reality recently, so David Molnar picked up a pair and just tried them out for the first time. The picture quality is decent, but it doesn't block out the world around you. Instead the idea seems to be almost along the lines of bifocals -- the screen is mounted in such a way that you need to look down to see it. If you look straight ahead, you see normally through tinted lenses (the "shades" part). See the link here: http://www.myvu.com/Myvyu-Shades-C25.aspx
This is a little bit of a problem if your idea is to run a Charlie Stross style sight replacement, where you have a camera mounted on the outside of the glasses, then run the video through processing and show it inside the glasses. That application really does need to immerse your eyes, so these won't work.
On the other hand, they do make possible a different approach: a "quick look" screen for presenting information. This would be a good place to put the kind of information which today someone needs to pull out a phone and look at or otherwise distract themselves.
- A continuously updating map w/"you are here" to this screen. Just look down, figure out where you are.
- Driving directions. Since it is difficult to focus on the shades, only a limited quantity of information would be shown: how far your next turn is, and a big arrow indicating whether to turn left or right.
- SMS display. No need to pull out your phone when it vibrates or rings to read an SMS.
- Incoming caller ID display.
- Twitter client.
- IRC client.
- Sekai camera is a recently demoed smartphone app that figures out where your phone is pointing based on GPS + compass, then shows you information about the object/location that other people have tagged. This would be ideal for video googles -- if you're looking at a restaurant and can't decide whether to go in, take a quick look at the Yelp reviews. A similar app is Layar for G1 and soon for 3GS.
- Notifications. My phone aggregates notifications from 8-10 sources. Most of these don't need immediate attention, but I can't tell without spending several seconds pulling out my phone and going to the app which generated the notification. If I would see a synopsis in my shades (e.g., if it's an email, just the sender name) then I can immediately decide if it needs attention or not.
- iPhone/iPod touch
- Only works with TV Out, but jailbroken apps exist that take existing apps and redirect their video over TV out http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2009/01/iphone-gains-two-new-tv-out-utilities.ars
- DavidMolnar has been working with this, wearing myvu shades and walking around Oakland with an iphone
- Need a laptop that can output component video
- OK for prototyping, not good for deployment
- Android G1 ?
- Does it have any video out features? Maybe through USB port?
- Nokia N93