April 27, 2004 4:15 AM   Subscribe

Laser-o-vision: A system that projects light beams directly into the eye could change the way we see the world.
posted by moonbird (18 comments total)
This has been talked about for a while but it's nice to see it working in real life now. I was a bit confused by this passage in the article though:

"Within five years, such systems could be incorporated into mobile phones or hand-held computers and appear to the brain as a brightly lit widescreen TV version of what is on the device."

Mobile phones? Why does the BBC insist on saying that every single new technology that comes out these days will find their way into mobile phones? I can't envisage how you'd be able to put a laser retinal projector into a traditional handheld mobile phone and make it work - now, putting it into glasses that also happened to have mobile phone functions, sure, but still, it's lazy writing.
posted by adrianhon at 4:21 AM on April 27, 2004

I've been thinking about dual 21" monitors on my desktop. If this can give me the 3200x1200 resolution I'd like, only cheaper and more conveniently (a flip-down visor, let's say), that's all to the good.
posted by alumshubby at 5:13 AM on April 27, 2004

Looks pretty cool. One thing though, I wonder how you'd use it in every day life if you wear glasses.
posted by unreason at 5:21 AM on April 27, 2004

*Advertising and Marketing world cheers*

Ha ha! You're fucked now!
posted by Stan Chin at 5:53 AM on April 27, 2004

The true advances will come when we can project lasers out of our eyes.
posted by pealco at 6:28 AM on April 27, 2004

Lower the monkey shield!
posted by ewkpates at 6:48 AM on April 27, 2004

This link doesn't shoot my eyes with laser beams, does it?

I'm not opening it until I know.
posted by dfowler at 7:21 AM on April 27, 2004

I personally cannot wait to have one. Although maybe I should save my $2K for the spinal cerebral computer interface implant.
posted by daHIFI at 7:22 AM on April 27, 2004

This probably explains the "with lasers" phenomenon on Orkut.
posted by zsazsa at 7:34 AM on April 27, 2004

I'm not sure if this would be good for you.
posted by password at 8:28 AM on April 27, 2004

Between this, the gel armor, and the (still too small) aircraft carrier for sale, we're straight on the path to Snow Crash.

Watch for rat things.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:59 AM on April 27, 2004

To heck with better information, I want to hook this sucker up to my Playstation 2, load up Vice City and go driving on the highway and around town!
posted by fenriq at 10:03 AM on April 27, 2004

Down inside the computer are three lasers- a red one, a blue one, and a green one. They are powerful enough to make a bright light but not powerful enough to burn through the back of your eyeball and broil your brain, fry your frontals, lase your lobes.

...In this way, a narrow beam of any color can be shot out of the innards of the computer, up through that fish-eye lens, in any direction. Through the use of electronic mirrors inside the computer, this beam is made to sweep back and forth across the lenses of Hiro's goggles, in much the same way as the electron beam in a television paints the inner surface of the eponymous Tube.

-Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash, 1992
posted by Miles Long at 10:05 AM on April 27, 2004

ROU_Xenophobe beat me to the Snow Crash reference. Oh, the geek embarrasment!

adrianhon, mobile phones have screens. i think that was what they were talking about. but you're right- mobile phones are totally a buzzword right now.
posted by Miles Long at 10:11 AM on April 27, 2004

Hell, yeah! I, for one, welcome our laser-eyed-cyborg overlords!
posted by Nauip at 12:34 PM on April 27, 2004

Oh hell yeah, Snow Crash here we come! I've already got my Rat Thing Hutch placement all figured out for maximum effect.

As an old MeFi'er who's been away a few years there's nothing like a Neal Stephenson reference to bring me back into the fold.

Bring on the Future.

With Lasers!
posted by campy at 8:35 PM on April 27, 2004

Isn't there something just a little medically wrong about shooting lasers into one's eyes and burning out one's retinas? Direct sunlight for more than a few seconds can cause irreperabe damage, but the Pink Floyd Laser Light Show bouncing off the corneas, that's completely acceptable? Change the way we see the world? How about it making us all go blind?
posted by ZachsMind at 9:00 PM on April 27, 2004

Microvision say the technology is safe because of very low strength of the laser used.

The power of the light is about a thousandth of a watt," said Mr Goldstein.

"Not only is it low power, but it is also not dwelling in one place on the retina for any period of time. It is sweeping across the retina at a very high rate."
posted by Tlogmer at 2:39 PM on April 30, 2004

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