Top Tech 2013 Day 15: Head Mounted Displays (HMD)

A head mounted display, or HMD, is a device that a user wears on the head that displays information directly in front of the user’s eye. HMDs have been around in one form or another since the late 80s or early 90s, primarily in military aircraft. While there have been a variety of methodologies proposed for how exactly a HMD might work (including laser projection, transparent screens, and wave guides), it is not until recently that they saw large amounts of commercial interest.

While the technical capabilities used by HMDs have been improving over the years (such as battery life, miniaturization, screen resolution, etc.), it was not until Google’s Glass project hit that the ‘greater public’ started tracking the technology intensely. Since then, a variety of technologies have emerged-some similar to the Glass, in that they are meant for day to day use, and some similar to the Oculus Rift, meant for VR. In this post we’ll focus on the VR applied technologies.

The Vuzix Smart Glass M100, announced at CES in January, are less powerful than the Glass, but also have a cheaper price point and are due in retail by the end of the year/early 2014.

The ‘Meta‘ augmented reality glasses are more tethered to a computer. Meta had a successful kickstarter earlier this year, and are now available for ordering. They are a bit bulkier than other HMDs-between Google Glass and the Oculus Rift in form factor.

GlassUp is another independent effort taking the ‘glasses’ form factor, looking like an electronically wired pair of safety glasses. The GlassUp can now be preordered for $299 via their website. There is no ‘input’ method to the GlassUp glasses.

Epiphany Eyewear doesn’t have a display feature, but does offer recording and sharing in a pair of stylish shades.