Feeds

IBM and Olympus demo wearable PC – again

Showing them's easier than building and selling them, apparently...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

IBM and the Japanese camera manufacturer Olympus have produced a prototype of a wearable PC weighing 14.3oz (370g). IBM also demonstrated another prototype in Tokyo in September last year which weighed a little less. It's been such a long time coming that there is a real danger that it will be distinctly out of fashion by the time it's available, although it could hit the stores "soon". At present, there is no keyboard, since speech recognition is used. The device is planned to appeal to consumers who want to look at files or play audio. There is a banana-shaped handle that has a two-button touchpad that allows icons to be selected on an Olympus "eye-trek" screen that flips out from a headset. Readers seriously wishing to know more about the cyberborg potential could enroll in the next University of Toronto course on Personal Cybernetics, but perhaps they should first see a picture of the present class at wearcomp.org. There are also photos of Steve Mann's wearable devices going back to 1980. The only readily available kit at the moment appears to be the Xybernaut MA IV, which is now fortunately lighter than the first version, but is still rather heavy at two pounds (900g), and even heavier on the pocket (around $9000 initially, but now through the $6000 barrier for a basic head-mounted display version). The main use so far has been in situations where PDAs can't easily be used, for example in certain maintenance work where hands-free working is essential, including medical applications such as endoscopy. The common features of wearables so far as been Windows and mostly Intel chips, but IBM made the point last year that Windows 98 was used for demonstration purposes. But with IBM's ViaVoice already being offered for the Red Hat distribution, it may not be long before the smart dude is seen wearing a Microsoft-free version, which will make Bill G's digital wallet look pretty old-fashioned. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.