February 01, 2012 by Grant Clauser
If you’ve ever seen video eyewear—those glasses-like things that display video images—then you also know that while the idea sound cool, the glasses/viewers themselves aren’t. About the only person who looked good wearing something like that in public is Geordie LaForge, but as the chief engineer on a starship, he could get away with it.
A new company called Nabes wants to make these products, also called personal viewers, look a little less dorky by offering a viewing device that attaches onto compatible fashion sunglasses. The Nabes micro-viewer is said to create the impression of watching a 75-inch screen from 9 feet away. The viewer is so small, that it can be worn under sunglasses—so the person sitting next to you on a plane thinks your asleep, not watching recorded episodes of Revenge. Nabes says the design also allows for decent peripheral vision so you can still see the stewardess coming to offer you a drink. Just don’t try riding a bike while wearing one.
Nabes hasn’t actually started making and selling the product yet, but it did receive a patent which coves a variety of sunglasses styles and the option to license to third-party glasses makers to include Nabes compatible products in their lines.
The first products, which should be available late this year, will produce WVGA images and be compatible with iPod/iPhone/iPad plus HDMI and USB inputs via an outboard control box. A four-hour battery life and built-in earbuds are also part of the system. Expect a price of around $500 which includes the sunglasses.
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Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.
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