"Cool" glasses from Vuzix hides a 3D display and device connectivity. (via Vuzix)
For decades, the dream of many nerds and geeks is to one day be able to go through their daily activities while wearing their most capable piece of technology on their face: their computer. But this dream has always led to unflattering glasses that would get them beat up instead of admired.
MIT wearable computer, circa 1997 (Sorry Steve Mann, for using you as an example)
Nokia is teaming up with Vuzix to bring vogue to the concept. They are developing a set of 3D HD Augmented Reality glasses that will look as slick as the sun glasses the "cool kids" wear. Nokia’s Exit Pupil Expanding (EPE) technology allow for computer and other web-connected devices to be displayed through transparent eyewear called Smart Glasses. EPE technology also makes these Smart Glasses cheap to mass-produce.
Nokia describes this EPE technology as "a 1.4 mm thick plastic waveguide lens with input and output hologram structures on the surface which squeezes the light down the waveguide and then two dimensionally expands the image back into the user's eye, creating an image that is then mixed into the real world." They hold the intellectual property rights to this technology, so this is where Vuzix comes into play. Vuzix has worked extensively with video game eyewear and similar types of virtual reality products and so boasts of advanced display engine developments. This partnership hopes to exploit the knowledge and resources both of these companies already posses to transform near-eye display (NED) systems and make them a lot more aesthetically pleasing.
These companies will be demonstrating these Smart Glasses at the CES-2012 convention. They hope to have Smart Glasses ready for commercial and industrial uses summer 2012.