TOKYO (07/28/2000) - Olympus just put on sale in Japan a new version of its Eye-Trek line that could, quite literally, change the way you look at your television, DVD or games console forever.
The Eye-Trek FMD-700 is the latest in Olympus' line of face-mounted displays -- high tech goggles that are worn like glasses but include two 0.55-inch LCD (liquid crystal display) panels for image projection.
Despite their size, the LCD screens give the illusion of looking at a much larger screen. Olympus says they offer the equivalent of viewing a 52-inch screen from a distance of two meters. The screen offers an image of 500 lines -- the same as a conventional television -- and a physical resolution of 180,000 pixels, although the system uses a special system to give the illusion of 720,000 pixels, according to Olympus.
At this level, the new Eye-Trek offers around four times the resolution of Olympus' current model, which doesn't include the image enhancement system.
A pair of earphones are included with the product and, should the user prefer, a separate pair of headphones can be plugged into the device for better sound quality. The entire device weighs 105 grams.
A base station connects the high-tech glasses to any standard video source, such as a television, VCR (video cassette recorder), DVD (digital versatile disc) player or games machine. The Eye-Trek can also be connected to a personal computer, although Olympus says the optical system that produces the illusion of quadrupling the image quality is not perfectly suited to PC displays.
Product Name: Eye-Trek FMD-700
Manufacturer: Olympus Optical Co. Ltd.
Price: 150,000 yen (US$1,400)
Availability: Now in Japan; no details yet on overseas launch plans(Editors: An image of this device is available in the IDG Image Bank on Lotus Notes or through the Web at http://www.idgns.com/.)