Bellevue-based eMagin Corp. has developed a wearable headset system that plugs into Apple Computer's portable media device and displays video from it in front of one eye, using optical technology designed to give the picture a higher resolution and make it appear larger than on the iPod's screen.
The system, dubbed the EyeBud 800, is another entry in the booming ecosystem of accessories and complementary products that has emerged around Apple's portable music player. But this isn't in the realm of a $20 carrying case. Scheduled to debut in the first half of this year, the EyeBud is expected to retail for as much as $599 -- $200 more than the cost of a 60-gigabyte iPod.
But eMagin's executives are betting that the notion of a virtual big screen will win people over. With the proximity of the screen to the eye, and the magnifying effect of the company's optical technology, the company says that using the headset is akin to watching a 105-inch display from 12 feet away.
"Suddenly you've got this big-screen, movie-screen, home-theater experience, wherever you are," said Gary Jones, eMagin's president and CEO.
The EyeBud system uses a separate control module, about the size of the iPod, which includes a rechargeable battery pack. The headgear might garner curious looks when worn in public. But eMagin executives say they expect people to get used to the appearance, in the same way that Bluetooth headsets are no longer uncommon.
Monday, January 02, 2006
I EYE I
The latest full-size iPod -- the one with video capabilities -- has already created a portable porn market. Now comes news about a way to turn your iPod into a 105-inch display. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports:
Check the link to the story to see the eMagin bigshot wearing an EyeBud. It's a bad-hair day waiting to happen.