New wearable, high-resolution display peripheral serves pocket PC PDAs

March 17, 2003
MARCH 17--Interactive Imaging Systems Inc. (IIS; Rochester, NY; ml), a supplier of personal display devices, has unveiled its Second Sight VGA viewer for Pocket PC devices.

MARCH 17--Interactive Imaging Systems Inc. (Rochester, NY; ml), a supplier of personal display devices, has unveiled its Second Sight VGA viewer for Pocket PC devices. The Second Sight display system (model M1100) uses the latest low-power, full-color VGA (640 x 480-pixel) microdisplays to provide Pocket PC users with a wearable, high- resolution secondary screen with four times the viewing area of their standard PDA.

The Second Sight system consists of a standard CompactFlash card, a low-profile head-mounted display (developed by The MicroOptical Corporation), and bundled software. The Second Sight interface card adds less than 3/4 in. in length to the PDA and requires no additional batteries. The display is readable in daylight or darkness, unlike standard PDA displays. The "boom" style Second Sight display attaches to virtually any pair of eye or safety glasses and offers the equivalent viewing experience of a 15-in. monitor at a distance of 21 in. The nonimmersive display is positional so as not to obstruct a user's field of vision. This allows for wearable computing applications with hands-free operation. Users can view information such as schematics, assembly instructions, or even a security camera image, and still have both hands free to work in a normal manner.

The Second Sight system includes software drivers that convert the low-resolution output of today's PDAs to desktop computer high-resolution images. The software "echoes" the PDA desktop by simultaneously displaying its same contents. Most image formats, including emails, attachments, pictures and the Internet, can be viewed in full VGA resolution. PDA users can access the Internet and enjoy its standard full VGA screen resolution--just like on their desktop PC. IIS is offering a free software developer's kit, which will allow software vendors to enable, specialized high-resolution and dual-monitor capabilities into their Pocket PC software.

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