Eye Spy; September 2001; Scientific American Magazine; by Phil Scott; 1 Page(s)
Matt Nichols, director of communications for Microvision, has just arrived from his crosstown walk. He's hurried from New York City's upcoming Museum of Sex, where he showed off the same equipment that he wants to demonstrate now. No, please--it's called Nomad, a retinal scanning device that can beam words and graphics directly into the viewer's eye. "They're trying to figure out how to create a fully interactive museum," Nichols sheepishly explains.
The U.S. Army is also interested in Nomad, for a less titillating function: equipping its helicopter pilots. When coupled with the proper software, the headset can display altitude, heading, speed, course and weapons status, all presented in a nice monochrome light beam that doesn't hamper the pilot's view. "It projects the image desired into the visual field of the pilot's eye, and that image is seen at optical infinity," says Thomas Lippert, chief scientist at Microvision, based in Bothell, Wash. "That means the pilot can keep his gaze out the windscreen while keeping this augmented information sharply in focus."