Reporters asked Jacobs about other mobile technologies, including Google Glass and wearable technology. He said glasses with screens that take up the entire lens -- or even part of the lens like Google Glass -- often give him, and many consumers, headaches when worn, so the company is more interested in making smart watches and other devices you can wear on your wrist. He also discussed his thoughts on Near Field Communications, or NFC, and the ability of the Windows Phone operating system to compete with major operating systems like iOS and Android.
Jacobs said NFC has potential, as does the Windows Phone system, He said Microsoft has lots of resources and the ability to tie its system into other products, like Microsoft enterprise software or the highly successful Xbox 360 gaming console, "It's too early to call the game one way or another, I'm not willing to count Microsoft out," he said, In a CES Q&A session with reporters, Paul Jacobs doesn't say a whole lot 7 iphone cases about the company's new partnership, but does touch on some technologies it's interested in..
But we're getting ahead of things. Innovega's approach requires FDA approval because it involves wearing a specialized contact lens. And that process, co-founder and CEO Steve Willey told me, won't be in the cards until 2014. Yet Willey, whose company is based in San Diego and Seattle, is making impressive progress and, unlike at last year's CES, Willey now has a way to show how it all works. Sort of. His CES booth is outfitted with a mannequin that's wearing a version of the contact lenses; it contains HD microprojectors so visitors can see what the mannequin sees. In this case, that's a view of people milling about CES, plus whatever media Willey and his team overlay -- such as in the image below that shows the Innovega logo overlaid on the San Diego skyline. That part -- the media -- is simply sent to the glasses from a smartphone or laptop.
The goal here is to get away from the Google model, which uses what's known as a glanceable display, When you look through those types of specialized glasses, you see a postage-stamp type image off to the side that shows media -- your text messages, say, along with your Twitter feed or, potentially, ads, (It's Google, after all.), While this is great, Willey said it falls short of what people will eventually want -- a full-media overlay that either becomes the only thing the user can see (as would be necessary for a video game), or a mix of media and reality, The problem with creating the full, panoramic view is that human eyes 7 iphone cases can't focus on objects that are right up against them, That's where the specialized contact lenses come in; Innovega's lenses enable the wearer to focus on objects that are superclose while also focusing on whatever's in the distance..
The other part of the setup is fairly simple: A small camera attaches to a pair of lightweight glasses -- in theory, they could be any sports glasses -- that projects the media onto the lenses. Because of the contact lenses, you -- or, for now, the mannequin -- can focus on an overlay displayed across the lens of the eyeglasses. "People want a big image," said Willey, who formed the company in 2008. "Natural vision is full HD and panoramic, and what we're delivering starts to rival natural vision -- a blend of virtual and real world for cool entertainment depending on where you're standing, where you're looking. The main thing is that you see both in perfect focus."His key customer so far is the military. Last spring, Innovega won a contract to supply the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) with a prototype of its iOptik spectacles and accompanying contact lenses. The goal is to offer soldiers in harsh conditions a way to get information about battles without having to look at a handheld device or interfering with their normal view. "If you're in the middle of a desert in sunshine, a handheld doesn't work," Willey pointed out. "The military wants a rich display that gets a device out of their hands."Now Willey is hoping some big consumer companies also want in. He said he talked to a few last year, hoping to find strategic partners, but people didn't believe him. "They all said it sounded like science fiction," he said.
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