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Linux-Based PMP Features Head-Up Display 200

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the ripe-for-the-hacking dept.
nerdyH writes "A new Linux-based portable media player (PMP) features an eyeglass-like head-mounted display with 800 x 600 resolution. Dreamax's Indicube i-800 PMP provides an experience similar to sitting two meters away from a 54-inch screen, the vendor claims. It uses an 0.44-inch eMagin OLED display, claimed to offer the smallest pixel pitch in the industry."
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Linux-Based PMP Features Head-Up Display

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  • Cool.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by The_Fire_Horse (552422) <thefirehorsey@gmail.com> on Monday January 07, 2008 @05:44PM (#21947000) Homepage Journal
    porn on the train at last (and this time without angry guards and annoyed passengers)
    • Let me know when I can get the playback of your experience watching Strange Days on it. ;-) Really, the hardware in the movie wasn't nearly as cool as what it was possible to do with it.

      -=##### *very* small possible *partial* spoiler alert #####=-

      I only have one complaint about the whole film. They used the Y2K subplot to explain the big crowds they needed for the end of the movie. Considering the characters involved in the film, there's no reason they couldn't have written a large crowd scene without dati
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by SoundGuyNoise (864550)
      Shouldn't it be Brainstorm [imdb.com] instead?
  • I've wanted something like this to use with my PDA for some time.
    • I've wanted something like this to use with my PDA for some time

      You can get these things already: PowerColor i-Screen Head Mounted Display PowerColor i-Screen Head Mounted Display [loveno.be].

      There's this picture circulating with a guy sitting in a chair with some joysticks, wearing a dress, two breast-vacuum pumps wearing a Head Mounted display with the appropriate caption. Too bad I can't find it to illustrate the possibilities wish such an device.

      • by LordMyren (15499)
        You are a moron.

        The article talks about a 800x600 OLED 400mW high contrast emagin display and you rant your mouth off about some trash ass QVGA LCD piece of junk that sucks down 1.2W. The article mentions numerous times that its a future emagin product.

        Get lost or get a clue
  • by DannyO152 (544940) on Monday January 07, 2008 @05:47PM (#21947044)
    2008 will be the year of the Linux Borg Headgear.
  • by Malevolent Tester (1201209) * on Monday January 07, 2008 @05:48PM (#21947060) Journal
    Now I can look like a complete tool without using proprietary software.
  • I fear this visor will only look good on hot Asian women.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by NamShubCMX (595740)
      From the article...

      CREATE YOUR OWN STYLE
      There is one of the biggest characteristic of INDICUBE by prominent design to express strong male beauty. With ergonomic and stylish feature, it must be fit in both orient and western people. Enjoy yourself with great style on a bus, train, airplane, or out of doors. We guarantee that INDICUBE can make you look better and create your own style.


      ugh.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by AmberBlackCat (829689)
      I know you can't tell but, trust me, she looks like an idiot in these things too. She just has a way of distracting people from the glasses.
  • Target audience (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Scutter (18425) on Monday January 07, 2008 @05:51PM (#21947096) Journal
    How come these designers never realize that many of their target audience have poor eyesight? These types of things never fit right over glasses.
    • If you can afford toys like this, you can afford laser vision-correction surgery...
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Azarael (896715)
        Unless your toy expenditure is the *reason* you can't afford the surgery..
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by wattrlz (1162603)
        AFAICT TFA didn't mention a specific price, but... can you afford the new corneas when you're the 1 in 1,000,000 on whom they botch the surgery, though? I'll stick to contacts, thank you!
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        FYI: not everyone is a candidate for laser eye surgery. Anyone with vision that is still changing with time, or with extremely poor vision, is not a candidate for the treatment. (Yes, paradoxically the people who most need corrective surgery are not candidates.) For certain people with very bad eyesight and irritable eyes, neither contacts nor surgery are available (my sister is in this class of unfortunate people).

        All of that to say that there is a segment of the population who cannot avoid wearing glas
      • by Carnildo (712617)

        If you can afford toys like this, you can afford laser vision-correction surgery...


        I can afford vision-correction surgery just fine. I just value my night vision too much to risk it.
      • If you can afford toys like this, you can afford laser vision-correction surgery...

        I am myopic and wear bifocals. Laser correction could correct distance vision, but then I'd have to wear glasses for reading, which I don't now and never will even when I'm old - something my opthamologist (an old man near retirement who is also myopic) said I'll come to appreciate as a blessing in disguise. Ironically, I prefer the myopia: without glasses, I can do fine, up-close work far better than most people.

        Any

    • Re:Target audience (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Cowpat (788193) on Monday January 07, 2008 @06:15PM (#21947370) Journal
      well, if the screen is wholly over one eye (or could be moved as such) then a relevant lens could be put in position over the other eye. The screen could then be set to black when not in use (forcing you to use the uncovered eye) OR the gizmo could acquire a small camera to provide the relevant image on the screen (of course the camera could be anywhere, such as behind you, or be infrared-sensitive for night-vision, or both) the display could then provide extra information such as the temperature, air pressure, terrorist threat-level, a todo list or, if you happen to be a terminator, a selection of the pictures of the people that you have to kill. If you're short sighted then they'll be close enough to need no correction and if you're long sighted then more fool you (or you could wear a contact lens).
      You'd still need to take them off to drive, of course.
      Now I think of it, you could just wear contact lenses. Except that you're probably a geek who's too cowardly to try and poke himself in the eye - I certainly am.
      • by russ1337 (938915) on Monday January 07, 2008 @06:38PM (#21947646)

        OR the gizmo could acquire a small camera to provide the relevant image on the screen (of course the camera could be anywhere, such as behind you, ...... ,
        Sweet. I've always wanted to walk around in the third person.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by veganboyjosh (896761)
          Sweet. I've always wanted to walk around in the third person.

          even better, you could switch between several vantage points, much like just about every car racing video game i've seen in the last 10 years. just choose whether you want bird's eye view, medium view, in the driver's seat, on the hood of the car, etc...
    • by mhall119 (1035984)
      Only a problem for far-sighted people, and making room for glasses isn't going to fix that.

      The images your eye will be focusing on is only a couple of inches away, even if it "appears" to be 2 meters away. Your stereoscopic vision will be focused 2 meters out, but your lens will be focused only an inch or two out, so near-sighted users would just take off their regular glasses when they use this.
      • Re:Target audience (Score:4, Informative)

        by ballpoint (192660) on Monday January 07, 2008 @06:59PM (#21947832)
        No, that's not true. Optics are designed so that you need to focus your lens on a virtual image that appears to be x meters away in exactly the same way as you would need to focus on a real image that actually is x meters away, where x is a design choice.

        For each level of near- or farsightedness, a display could be specifically designed so that no additional correction would be necessary. But guess what, manufacturers will be addressing the middle ground only, and won't be catering to special needs, save for a limited range like +/- 2 diopters that can be easily obtained by moving a lens a few mm.
      • by MrSteveSD (801820)
        They often set these things up so that you are not straining your eyes to look at something so close. The whole two meters thing is probably a red herring since they often just quote a distance that makes the screen size sound good. It's probably set up for infinite distance, so unless you can adjusts it, it would look blurry for short-sighted people.
    • by nilbog (732352)
      That's what the focus adjustment is for.
    • by hitmark (640295)
      iirc, myvu has a similar display product out (and announced a couple of new ones at CES) and they offer attachable lenses for people with vision issues.
  • by Zerth (26112) on Monday January 07, 2008 @05:52PM (#21947118)
    But can it give me the equivalent of 17" CRT at arms length?

    Whenever I see these, I think "yay, monitor replacement" until I find out that, like most of them, it is just as fuzzy for reading text as a regular TV.
    • by MrSteveSD (801820) on Monday January 07, 2008 @07:06PM (#21947884)

      But can it give me the equivalent of 17" CRT at arms length?


      No. The apparent size of the screen scales linearly according to distance. So 54 inches at 7 feet is the same as 54/7 at 1 foot. Your monitor is probably about 2 feet in front of you, so that is (54/7)*2 = 15.4 inches. So it's like having a 15 inch monitor.
    • Here's an experiment to demonstrate the problem. Start reading a (physical) page of text. Bring the page in until it touches your nose. Can you still read anything? Unless you are horribly nearsighted you probably began straining around 8-10 inches, and lost focus entirely at 6-8 inches. I am about 20/400 in my good eye, the closest I can read is at 4 inches with my glasses off.

      Is there an optometrist in the house who can explain how these displays work, and whether or not they are healthy for your eye
    • by WK2 (1072560)

      But can it give me the equivalent of 17" CRT at arms length?

      There is no "equivalent" to 17" at arms length, nor is half an inch screen next to your eyes equivalent to 54" at 2 meters. That's just marketer-speak.

      I've used devices similar to this before, and they are all crap. The pictures are fuzzy. They are painful. You can't use them for long periods of time, and probably shouldn't use them at all. Many people complain of headaches and nausea. If the screen is flat, and most of them are, it can't work right. I doubt that any one-eyed model will ever be suitable

    • 800 x 600 resolution... similar to sitting two meters away from a 54-inch screen
      Forget about sitting 2m back.

      In a world where 1080p is fast becoming the norm, 800x600 gives you the experience of sitting 5-10 years back.
      • "Because it equipped with a Linux embedded system, Indicube not only offers a file managing system like a PC, but can decode most codecs sufficient to play HD videos easily."

        Because of the initial broken English, I was put a little bit on guard parsing the rest of it. Hmm, do they mean "can decode most (codecs [which are] sufficient to play HD videos) easily"? It almost looks like they're ipmlying "can decode (most codecs) [in a way which is] sufficient to play HD videos easily"?

        Because I honestly don't s

  • Mobile computing? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SharpFang (651121) on Monday January 07, 2008 @05:53PM (#21947122) Homepage Journal
    One thing I missed on the feature list: bluetooth.

    Combine this with one-handed chording keyboard [demon.co.uk], maybe a camera or just a hole to look through (or allow one-eye option) and some wireless connectivity (say, your mobile phone as GPRS modem), and you have a lightweight wearable computer.

    bonus for whoever comes up with a handy wearable cursor control device - kinda trackpoint on the keyboard would do, but they are quite obnoxious.
    • by nmos (25822)
      bonus for whoever comes up with a handy wearable cursor control device

      I would think some sort of eye tracking would be ideal.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by russ1337 (938915)

      for whoever comes up with a handy wearable cursor control device
      You mean some kind of "a free-floating, glowing, shifting polyhedron-shaped, mote of energy which could three-dimensionally "draw" and generate physical objects as they are needed, generally becoming the object in the process." like the one here? [wikipedia.org]
    • by Blakey Rat (99501)
      Wasn't that a Dilbert comic?

      The punchline was Dilbert, wearing that getup, sees another guy with super-thick glasses and waggling his fingers around. Dilbert asks, "are you using a wearable computer, too?" And the man replies, "no, I'm just a retard-- common mistake."
  • Are there two screens (one per eye) or one for both? If it's two screens then if I'm not mistaken it'd be the first PMP with 3d capabilities, which IMO would be pretty impressive.
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head-up_display [wikipedia.org]

    Since when are googles head-up displays?

  • ...and cue the Geordi LaForge jokes in 3-2-1
  • by dsojourner (695863) <dsojourner&yahoo,com> on Monday January 07, 2008 @06:01PM (#21947226)
    I've worked on micro display projects before --- and you don't want the pixel pitch getting too close to the wavelength of light -- which will be around 1/2 micron. Pixels smaller than a micron or so will result in dispersion of the light that is generated, limiting the quality of the image.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by hackerjoe (159094)
      Google calculator says:

      (0.44 inches) / 800 = 13.97 microns

      Still an order of magnitude or so away, but wow, that's a lot closer than I thought..
  • Vapour-wearable (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Caspian (99221) on Monday January 07, 2008 @06:02PM (#21947246)
    The realm of 'wearable computing' seems particularly prone to vapourware. For example, check out this awesome device [eyetap.org], which has been babbled about for years, and which you still can't buy in stores. And this PMP thing... well, you can't buy it in stores yet either.

    Yawn. Wake me when it's available for immediate shipment, with an actual price tag.

    Seriously, I'm sick and tired of Slashdot stories slashvertising gadgets that ARE NOT EVEN AVAILABLE YET and may, in fact, never be. Like this damned thing [moller.com].
    • by ferat (971)
      The article says the thing is shipping in March, so not all that vapourware.
      • Re:Vapour-wearable (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07, 2008 @07:02PM (#21947856)
        The article says the thing is shipping in March, so not all that vapourware.

        Sadly, all the stores in my area are still in January, so it's not available and may never be.
      • by Aladrin (926209)
        Somewhere along the line, the term 'vaporware' stopped meaning 'promised but never came' with an implied period of time having passed and turned into 'hasn't been sold to the public yet.' It'll do you no good to argue about the definition, though... It's best to just ignore the buzzwords and get on with life.

        It's sort of like 'bricked'... Means nothing like what it used to.
    • by nmos (25822)
      I'm sick and tired of Slashdot stories slashvertising gadgets that ARE NOT EVEN AVAILABLE YET

      So, what you want is "Slashdot, EX-News For Nerds. Stuff That Already Happened."
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Flunitrazepam (664690)
      <i>The realm of 'wearable computing' seems particularly prone to vapourware. For example, check out this awesome device, </i><br><br><br>
      Give them time, they need to work out exactly how to emit the perfect 1997 lens flare
    • Because we certainly don't want to talk about cool technology and gadgets on a geek website. If you just want stuff you can buy now you're better off sticking to Amazon.
  • Just curious here... I am (very slightly) far sighted.

    It is incredibly difficult and hurts the eyes to try and focus on anything of about 4 inches away... would this still work for someone like me? Or am I out of luck?
    • by Shados (741919)
      Im not expert, and only go by my own observations... Farsighted or not, focusing on something so close normally is a pain, mainly because your eyes have to shift toward your nose to be able to look in the right direction... But with things like these, the image, I presume (I didn't look into it...I mean, this is Slashdot and all) has the picture adjusted for your eyes focusing the same way as if you were looking at something far, so most of the issue doesn't apply. I can see other problems, but not the focu
  • At the moment a lot of Chinese manufacturers are making these PMP with head-mounted display products - these things were already available wholesale at least 2 months ago.

    I suspect the fact that one of these things makes you look like a hard-core fan of a certain science fiction TV series imitating a certain weak-sighted character is probably not helping with it's adoption.

    If you're really into portable media players you're probably better off with any of the flash memory based 2.4'' MP4 player which suppor
    • I'm thinking in the opposite direction. Replace my laptop with a little box (think ipod sized) and use these for the display. The backlight is smaller, so hopefully the power consumption is low. Now all I need is an alternative to my keyboard...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 07, 2008 @06:15PM (#21947366)
    ... as a guy who has a fair bit of difficulty scoring with attractive women, I am really looking forward to the possibility of banging ugly chicks while watching hot porn.

    Finally, technology that helps me in important ways.
  • heh. (Score:3, Funny)

    by apodyopsis (1048476) on Monday January 07, 2008 @06:23PM (#21947460)
    to rehash the old joke...

    you get home, put on the ol' Indicube and immerse yourself totally in the audio and video of your favorite p*rnstar doing what she does. there you are, she's 2m away in glorious full OLED color and resolution as you are cranking away....

    you remove the headphones to find your mum has been in and left tea and biscuits on the side table whilst you were busy.

    on a more serious note, add sound canceling headphones and I can see a use for this on a long haul flight.
  • by MrSteveSD (801820) on Monday January 07, 2008 @06:30PM (#21947548)
    Yes, a 15 inch monitor (15.4 to be more precise) on your desk 2 feet in front of you has the same field of view. Somehow the sales tag "Like a 15 inch monitor on your desk" doesn't sound quite as impressive. This is one of my pet peeves. You always hear manufacturers explaining how their tiny FOV eyepiece is like an enormous screen at some equally enormous distance. They just pick a distance which coincides with an impressive sounding screen size. If they give you a distance in feet, just divide the screen size by the distance, then multiply by 2. That will give you the equivalent monitor size (2 feet in front of you).

    The FOV of this device is actually a bit better than a many I have seen. They often come out as being equivalent to 14 inch monitors rather than 15 inch monitors. It's nice that it can play HD movies but a bit of a shame that the screen is way below HD resolution, making such an exercise fairly pointless.

    Since the early 90s I been waiting for an affordable head mounted display (HMD) with a human-like field of view, and sadly I'm still waiting. Even the unaffordable ones have pretty crummy FOVs. Still, if any kind of HMD becomes popular (no matter how poor) it can only be a good thing in the long run. It's bound to result in better products before long.
    • So what about a 15.4" WUXGA mounted close enough to fill your FOV? I know Gizmodo has covered[1] the paper-release of a 7.1" 1080p display; how physically small of a display with how many what-sized pixels do we need to attain in order to realize your HMD with a human-esque field of view? And when can I have two of them for simulated 3d?

      -theGreater.

      [1]. http://www.engadget.com/2006/10/17/sanyo-epson-announce-7-1-inch-1080p-lcd-by-far-the-worlds-smal/ [engadget.com]
      • by MrSteveSD (801820)

        how physically small of a display with how many what-sized pixels do we need to attain in order to realize your HMD with a human-esque field of view?

        Good question. Well the human FOV is more than 180 degs horizontally and about 120 vertically. (The horizontal FOV figure is for both eyes combined). This OLED device has a quoted 38 degree diagonal field of view for the screen. This translates to about 30 degrees horizontal and 23 vertical. It's clear then that we need quite a few times greater resolution horizontally and vertically. Something like 6 times horizontally and and 5 vertically.

    • by Gogo0 (877020)
      while i agree that it is typical marketing bullshit, seven feet away is about where a 54" tv should be for proper viewing.
      though, i doubt that they were trying to impress anyone by saying the simulated large screen is at the simulated proper distance.
    • If you say that too loudly, the giant plasma screen TV industry might go out of business.

      I was thinking about buying a plasma/LCD for my bedroom the other day so I could watch some stuff before drifting off. However before I did that I tried my laptop, which of course works perfectly, although finding a comfortable position is a little tricky - it gets quite hot and its like 25-30 celcius at night in my bedroom anyway, so I don't need to get hotter.

      However, screen-size wise - I lined up the monitor to where
  • ..the hype of VR died away, and then the technology to make it good came along.

    I've got a set of eMagin glasses (can't remember what model, but they're not new) - and playing racing games on them is incredible super-awesome fun. The problem with most racing games is you never feel like you're going fast, but with the glasses you get a great, wonderful feeling of speed (enough so that the game itself is just a bonus).

    My prediction: One day quite soon here, people will re-discover VR and it will be huge. Th
    • by MrSteveSD (801820)
      I've managed to resist buying any HMDs so far because the FOV is always so poor. I want a huge FOV so I really feel like I'm in the virtual environment. I suppose the more people buy these new systems, the more likely it is that we will get something really good next time around. Walking around a game like Oblivion would be great with a HMD with a human-like field of view. Games will have to be written differently though. The head movements need to be separated from your hand movements.
    • by timeOday (582209)
      I don't think the immaturity of VR in the 90s will really delay its adoption once it becomes ready. Unfortunately simulator sickness is still a very big unsolved problem.
  • ...until you start crashing into junk.

  • I tried one of these and it's really cool (it must be expensive though). The image quality is very good. The only thing that bothered me a little about it was that the room was bright and the light was bothering me and distracting me from the video. But I was told that there is another device that you can put around the player to block outside lights.

    Overall I found it nice, although it's not really the way I enjoy watching my movies.

    • by Junta (36770)

      But I was told that there is another device that you can put around the player to block outside lights.
      I've got just the device right here: Duct Tape. It truly can fix anything.
  • by Bwana Geek (1033040) on Monday January 07, 2008 @07:47PM (#21948284) Journal
    "Give me my money, bitch!"
    "F*#% you!"
    "SUDO give my money, bitch!"
  • When I saw this all I could think of is Johnny Lee's Wii-mote head tracking combined for some surely immersive games! And all on a shoestring budget!
    • In Wii, the more precise movements (i.e. the movement tracking appropriate to aiming) are based on the ir camera functions to gauge relative position to a fixed reference point (screen) being targeted. The accelerometers alone probably wouldn't be utilized to the same effect. Accelerometers to track the pitch and roll of your head may help in aiming, but the left-to-right movements could be tricky. At least with tilting forward and backward you have gravity as a reference point, rotating the direction of
  • by Lord Byron II (671689) on Monday January 07, 2008 @08:55PM (#21948834)
    I'm a long haul trucker and I have to say these things are a life-saver. Instead of nodding off at the wheel like I used to, now I can watch a handful of movies as I drive between Chicago and LA.
  • No Snow Crash References yet?!

    Now all I need is a storage container...
  • At the end of the article is a link for more info...which goes to a Flash-hindered site which doesn't display on Ubuntu.
  • Dreamax's Indicube i-800 PMP provides an experience similar to sitting two meters away from a 54-inch screen

    You mean it's blurry and gives me a headache? Alright, sign me up!

  • by thegnu (557446)
    This is just what I need. People really don't already have enough visual cues that I'm a total fucking asshole. Please, let this hit local stores ASAP. Oakley Blades have become cliche and just aren't providing the oomph they used to.

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