Video Goggles

What technological barriers (mild or pretty much insurmountable) stop me from buying a set of goggles with a VGA (or DVI or S-Video) connector that I plug into my computer (or portable DVD player or Video iPod) and have the video display in front of me at 1024 x 768 (replicated for each eye, of course)?

How close are we to being able to make display devices that can toss up images at that resolution & crispness at a physical size that would make sense at a distance of a couple of inches from the viewer? (What would that be, a 0.017 dot pitch screen, at screen size of 1 inch each?) Backlight it sufficiently? Power the thing up adequately without having to plug a powerbrick into an A/C outlet? (Maybe a FireWire + VGA cable combo?)

Those things that military folk like tank drivers and pilots use seem not too many stones’ throws away, although they may be limited to far coarser and less color-rich than what I had in mind…

Now I have to look, I think they are already being sold.
Not quite what you were looking for, I remembered these from PC Mag.


I saw computer modles of those kinda things since the mid-90s, plus instructions on how to build yer own.

It doesn’t look like the technology has improved much in the last decade – about the same price, and still 320x240 resolution. (I remember thinking that was inadequate back when Mechwarrior II was still cutting edge. :D)

Here are some more ungainly ones, with slightly less resolution.

I have tried reasonably good quality ones at computer trade shows.

They are unbelievably freaking great!

Why they haven’t taken off is a mystery to me.

What I want to do is drop into my airline seat, plug in my USB flash drive of “Pulp Fiction” into a player the size of pocket radio, put on the glasses and headphones. Then sit back and enjoy the ride.

the Sony Glasstron are discontinued now, but I remember them being some of the best that was available a couple of years ago. Maybe still are. And they look a bit cooler than the other ones available. Max resolution of 832x624.

this page is a comprehensive list of all the possible head mounted displays currently available on the market. Enjoy!