Friday, August 30, 2013

Things I Keep Waiting For

Every couple of years, I see someone promoting video display glasses so that you don't need a monitor for a computer.  I almost never use a laptop as a laptop (you know, something that you carry standalone and use in an airport).  About 99.9% of the time, my laptop is on my desk, with an external monitor attached.

My fantasy is a notebook computer that instead of a display, uses video display glasses instead.  It would make it smaller and lighter, and maybe even consume less power.  For the 99.9% situation, I don't care about a display; I would have it connected to two external monitors.  For the 0.1% situation, sitting in an airport or working on an airliner, I have the video display glasses plugged.

Another advantage of no display is that sometimes in very crowded airliners, the person ahead of me has leaned his seat back, and I sometimes can't have the laptop open enough to both see and type.

Does anyone make one of these?  I haven't found it yet.


  1. Get an iPad. I always bring it on plane rides. I'm using it now.

  2. I really don't like these tablets; they are no substitute for something with a keyboard. I was also hoping for something blindingly quick for video editing that I could also bring with me on the plane.

  3. For general use, there are options, although the market is not mature yet. Vuzix, SiliconMicroDisplays, EMAGIN, and MyVu (now defunct) displays the big commercially available ones that can be easily powered by battery. They're very low-resolution, however: most are less than VGA. Most of the previous high-res systems are commercial-only or ridiculously expensive: Kopin's still pushing industrial solutions in the 1.5-2.5K USD range.

    The Oculus' is probably one of the more reasonably priced options for usable resolution, although from my understanding all current dev kits requires separate 5v 600mA power which takes some fiddly to run from a couple USB connections. The bulky nature of the optics may be more of a problem.

    Google Glass may be another option for simple editing, if it's compatible with the Bluetooth keyboard profiles, but the Android ecosystem and low-capability processor means that it's not going to handle anything complicated.

    Unfortunately, working on video editing is processor, GPU, and power-intensive enough that it's not really a portable work thing. Laptops that can do it are usually desktop replacements, and there's not much call for small, long-battery-life desktop replacements.

  4. It's not the intended use but these are supposed to be very good.