back to article Futuristic head-mounted PC launching in 2010

A head-mounted device for remote smartphone and PC control using a virtual display and voice or gesture recognition will be launched next year, microdisplay firm Kopin has announced. Kopin_01 Kopin's Golden-i wearable PC should be out next year Kopin first unveiled its concept Golden-i unit earlier this year, but has since …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    No, no, no

    On so many grounds: no

    1: Windows... the last thing I want is for my head to crash.

    2: The display... it looks like they've used a CRT for the display... why does it need such a big block?

    3: Looks... you're not exactly going to go out wearing one looking like that, are you?

    4: Functionality.... They haven't announced compatibility with any flying cars - just think how impressive it would be to control your flying car with head movement (until the missus distracts you - look over there... crash)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I worry

    about people using it in the car (whilst driving)

  3. Dale 3


    Is it also going to have stupidly-bright flashing blue lights, just to point out to anyone who hadn't already noticed what a dork the wearer is?

  4. Patrick O'Reilly

    @No, No, No

    The reason that the viewfinder is so big is because in order for the eye to be able to focus on a screen that close, and create the illusion of a 15" screen some optics are required between the eye and the display, which most likely is a camcorder viewfinder

  5. Charles 9

    @AC. I beg to differ.

    1. Windows CE--Big difference. Plenty of embedded systems have used WinCE without a hitch for years.

    2. The display--That's because of the magnifying lens. How else would you make a virtual 15" display with something the size of a couple sugar cubes? And Virtual Retinal Displays are still in the prototype stage.

    3. Maybe not in the great outdoors, but business and market settings might consider the specced look rather chic (a man who keeps an eye on his business, so to speak).

    4. Functionality--Think heads-up display for whatever task you're doing--driving, transacting, whatever. I'm sure people will find a use for it somehow.

    There has been plenty of experimentation in Augmented Reality, and this would play right into those concepts.

  6. Random Noise

    Virtual screen

    Many moons ago I had to do a project for Computing at school & had to investigate the future of computers.

    I did a bit about wearable computers and one of the things I discovered was a laser which would draw the 'screen' directly on your retina.

    It's been over 10 years since I did that- the screen on this thing just looks like a tiny LCD which sits in the centre of your field of view. Why haven't they perfected beaming the image into my eye already?

    Come on boffins , pull the finger out.

  7. DZ-Jay

    Re: I worry

    No worries, it's too dorky for anybody to take seriously.


  8. Ian Halstead

    And it will all work...

    ... as seamlessly and as smoothly as a Blakes 7 set.

    (But won't look as good)

  9. Anonymous Coward

    "Host Device"

    Glad to see that they don't call them just "Hosts" or "People", that would seem to give them an identity.

    I for one salute our new Windows CE running Overlords!

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Motion sickness

    Does it come with a optional bucket for the inevitable chundering from motion sickness?

    But really, how long before they dig someone wearing this out of the central reservation on the M25?

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Oh Dearie me

    Well that's certainly one way to go about your daily work looking like a complete bloody cock.

  12. northern monkey
    Paris Hilton

    Hands free computing

    Fnaaarr fnnaaar.

    Paris, well - use your imagination (or, come 2010, your handsfree computer)

  13. Jeremy Chappell
    Thumb Down


    I can honestly say, I don't want one. If I was given one, I refuse to use it. I already look stupid enough, I don't need to look any foolish. For once, I don't care if it can run Linux or not.

  14. Tim 30


    Resistance is fyoodul (I believe that's how they pronounce "futile" in the cube)

  15. Graham Bartlett

    Universal Soldier

    I for one welcome our undead Belgian chop-socky overlords...

    (BTW Random Noise, the problem is most likely safety when pointing a laser at an eye. It's theoretically possible, but to do it with 100% safety is going to be rather difficult.)

  16. simon 43

    deja vu

    Anyone else remember a 90's corporate promo video with their engineers wearing something veeeeery similar...?

  17. Shakje

    Think of the death rays...

    Doubt it'll take off that hugely after the inevitable brain cancer claims from wearing something on your head.

  18. Bad Beaver
    Thumb Up


    Small, wireless, decent resolution – that makes a good wearable display in my book! This will be awesome for all kinds of engineers and mechanics who actually have to get their hands on stuff. Check live data while you work on some machine without looking away, hands free… nifty. Could run on something other than Windows though, purdy please.

  19. Neur0mancer

    At last

    The gargoyle tech from Snow Crash will be available.

  20. TrevorH
    Thumb Down


    Oh, please! 85g. Who are they kidding? My phone weighs 85g and that lot looks more like 850g of complete stupidity

  21. Andy Gates

    They missed a trick

    Should have included at least a digi compass. *Then* it would be a proper AR toy and teh sexy would start to flow.

    Hm, thinking of sexy, I can use this for pr0n and nobody will know? Score!

  22. frank ly

    Early Days

    "...Since Golden-i is a head-mounted unit there’s little hope of it featuring, say, a 500GB SSD..."

    Indeed, but you could use a Wi-Fi or UWB link to a computing/comms/storage unit that you slip into a jacket pocket.

    Then you advance to wearing a backpack with bigger battery, satellite coms, flip-out head-tracking gesture-activated plasma guns, etc. (You see where I'm heading with this?). The next stage is a lightweight ablative armour suit so why aren't DARPA working on this?

  23. Dayjo


    Great iDea, but why not make it look something like this:

  24. Inachu
    Thumb Up

    My predeiction for this is.....

    This will have shown to be useful only for DAY TRADERS and IT GEEK people.

    Possibly others as well that need to check up on security very frequently such as the Intensive Care Unit. Or the owner of a dog that just gave birth.

    Hoepfully this will come preloaded with a few cool games.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @motion sickness

    unlikely to dig anyone of the central reservation on the M25 as it's basically one big car park for London... might give the drivers something to do whilst stuck in the Friday afternoon queues.

  26. Fluffykins Silver badge

    <Shakes head in incredulity>.......>clatter<

    .......then retrieves golden-i from far side of room.

  27. Stef 2
    Gates Horns

    Windy Coppers

    The Boys in Blue Screen Of Death.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Awful, awful, awful

    it's about as futuristic as...err... yesterday.

    The display optics don't need to be that clunky- look at the Vuzix Wrap 920. All the display inside a pair of sunglasses.

    Also, MONO sound? An overhead support-band? Also, the "dumb-terminal-on-your-head" idea sounds really nice- but wouldn't work in real life. Can you imagine using it on the train? "'kay, I'll just click this icon... hell, we're in a tunnel. *waits* Right, connection re-established. Oh, there's a rockface so I'm about to lose my signal--yup, there it goes"

    Wifi's not just available for anyone wandering the streets of a city- certainly nowhere outside the city- while GPRS is too slow and 3G coverage too patchy. Not to mention the cost of wirelessly streaming it to you. Using it on a plane isn't possible at all. Using it in an office wouldn't be too bad- until you had more than a small handfull of them and ran out of wireless bandwidth.

    It provides less functionality than a Laptop, is more likely to get nicked (unless they included a chinstrap) and is less stylish than me (and that's saying something).

    Also, how would you interact with the standard Windows interface you've gone to so much trouble to stream? Waving about a Wiimote-style wand? lugging about a keyboard and mouse?

    Wearables shouldn't be particularly visible when they're designed properly. They certainly shouldn't make you use the standard Windows desktop.

    There've been over 15 years of people figuring out what makes a good HUD for people with limited input options and who require rapid responses in computer games. Over 50 years of increasingly ergonomic dashboard design in cars. Why can't wearables developers take notice? We want a GPS-tracked minimap at the bottom left and a couple of other widgets on-screen most of the time. Clock, compass, maybe an RSS feed aggregator and incoming text message/email history. Flashy widgets should disapper when you're driving, though a hookup to the diagnostics system could be useful.

    It's going to be used for porn.

  29. DentArthurDent

    Aargh can you imagine meetings

    How much more painful are meetings going to get - Expect to repeat everything at least 3 times coz some idiot from marketing, supposedly giving you requirements spends his time with this strapped to his head. It's bad enough just with laptops at the moment.

  30. James O'Brien

    How long until the battery goes nova?

    On someones head that would be quite a sight :)

  31. Charles 9

    Re: Awful, awful, awful

    They don't want the "glasses" approach because they want at least one eye free and clear--important in a business or personal interaction (think sales) setting. They also don't want to completely cover the eye--doing that increases the risk of disorientation and motion sickness. Doing it their way, the screen covers part of one eye and the other eye can still see forward--a sort-of KISS approach to having both displays visible to you.

    As for interaction, it mentions Bluetooth. Think your cell phone (which you can interact by blind touch).

    I can definitely see this useful to drivers who no longer need to glance to their instrument panels or GPS units to keep from getting lost while driving to unknown locations. You mentioned security and emergency personnel, which is good. I'm also thinking market traders and people who have to simultaneously use a computer and interact with people (like travel agents and face-to-face support people).

  32. J 3

    @They missed a trick

    "Hm, thinking of sexy, I can use this for pr0n and nobody will know? Score!"

    Well, depending on how good the pr0n is, people might notice at least something going on...

  33. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Whatever happened to Xybernaut?

    As they have been doing this sort of stuff for about 15 years.

    Personally I always thought it was a bit of a niche market but it could get bigger. For service techs I thought it would be great if the thing had a camera to view the widget being serviced and overlay an exploded diagram of it in bits. A laser pointer of some kind would allow a remote support person to point out any specific thing that needed attention.

    Regarding the direct write laser idea. The lasers in question would be designed so they could not generate a dangerous level of light. Howeve the only fully integrated mirror system I know of is by Texas Instruments and seems to going only into pocket size LCD projects (and possibly next years must have camer phone?)

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Shame Motorola are building it

    Motorola being a US operation they're probably hoping DARPA want to militarise it in the hope their fat useless friendly-killing warriors will get a little better. If nothing else it should give Lewis something to write about when they do.

    On the other hand with the right interface it could prove invaluable for someone with impaired movement. I'm thinking stroke victims or badly disabled people.

  35. John F***ing Stepp

    The resolution is getting there.

    And the resolution on my eyes are going south about as fast.

    Give it another 50 years and they can fit my dead body with one.

    (Zombies with wearables; who said there were no new ideas in SF?)

  36. Golden-i Guy
    Thumb Up

    Golden-i designed for Industrial Applications

    First Industrial applications for hands-free computing and communications

    Later Pro-sumer versions - sleeker, smaller, more stylish design in development now for i-Phone, Blackberry, N-95 users that also interface frequently with PCs, Servers, etc and are highly mobile. Golden-i can control up to 7 other devices, like you control applications on your PC desktop.

    Golden-i may use Windows CE 6.0, but with natural voice it can control your company servers, you PC where ever it is sitting. Linked on to a PC, desktop or even aCRAY Computer with 4G wireless interface, Golden-i puts the full power and capabilities of these larger machines completely under the users control - while highly mobile !

    By the way, Golden-i's 6-Axix solid state position sensor monitors real-time velocity and acceleration, so if your driving a vehicle once you pass say 3-5 MPH, the high resolution shuts down. The moment you slow down or stop the vehicle the full high resolution display automatically comes back. When your moving rapidly in a vehicle, Golden-i provides an enlarged simple to glance at one line text, with substantiall enhanced audio interface.

    You can ask Golden-i questions and Golden-i can respond with audio speech of it's own. Smartest ,easiest to use GPS interface, Internet browsing, etc. you have ever used when your mobile or otherwise.

    Golden-i is very - very light. None industrial use versions will 60 % smaller in volume.

    Interesting comments - seems like reading initial comments about the practicality of the first automobiles, Bell's telephone or airplanes.

    Attend a major conference where Golden-is are being demonstrated and try one out. Several thousand people already have - several thousand individuals have been very pleased . . .

  37. goggyturk


    Didn't IBM have a prototype wearable computer with a very similar headset about 10 years ago? A single eye piece designed to transmit the equivalent of a 15" screen into your eyeball.

    What next, VR headsets? Bring back the 90s!

  38. Web Dr.

    Smaller handheld version better?

    Sounds like you are all overly sensitive about wearing the item on or around your head and the form factor. Would you consider or comment about same technology packaged in a smaller handheld version? Checkout: Now will you complain from the other side it is not hands free!

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Handheld Version Better?

    Sounds like you are all overly sensitive about wearing the item on or around your head and the form factor. Would you consider or comment about same technology packaged in a smaller handheld version? Checkout: Now will you complain from the other side it is not hands free!

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