Olympus, Chuo University Test HMD-based Information Service

Feb 27, 2008
Yousuke Ogasawara, Nikkei Electronics
The optical appliance "mobile Eye-Trek (Keigan)" wireless HMD prototyped by Olympus
The optical appliance "mobile Eye-Trek (Keigan)" wireless HMD prototyped by Olympus
[Click to enlarge image]
When wearing Olympus "mobile Eye-Trek" prototype HMD
When wearing Olympus "mobile Eye-Trek" prototype HMD
[Click to enlarge image]

Olympus Corp will conduct a verification test for a service that provides information to pedestrians via wireless head mount displays (HMDs) with the Future Creation Laboratory and Human Media Lab (led by professor Toshikazu Kato), Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Chuo University.

Based on the test participant's location and interests, recommendations and trivia on the area around his/her current position are transmitted and displayed on the HMD.

Targeting about 50 students of Chuo University, the test will be conducted at Koishikawa, Hongo, Yushima and Komagome areas in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo. The "mobile Eye-Trek (Keigan)," an optical appliance of wireless HMD prototype developed by Olympus, will be used in the test.

An information terminal integrates and transmits data sent from GPS devices and acceleration sensors on test participants to the "recommendation server." Then the server transmits guidance concerning sightseeing spots and stores as well as information related to the origins and history of the streets and hills around the user's current position.

Through this test, the laboratories will verify whether users will extend their range of actions and whether their satisfaction increases when they obtain trivia about their current positions from the HMDs while they are heading for their destinations following the navigation instructions.

They also verify if users can have a good time or not when moving around the towns while getting recommended information and bits of knowledge from the system in accordance with their circumstances, etc without setting any specific destinations.

The laboratories are considering analyzing the results of this test to verify the concept's effectiveness and the system's feasibility. Based on these results, they aim to commercialize the system in four years, targeting 2012.

This test verifies a service system, which Olympus calls "Inspiring Ubiquitous Service (IUS)." Its purpose is to offer "inspiring information" that would stimulate users' intellectual curiosity, Olympus said.

The mobile Eye-Trek (Keigan), a device that features IUS, places an LCD panel measuring 3.2 x 2.4mm in front of the right eye, which looks like a 3.8-inch display (about 100mm diagonal) located 50cm ahead from the viewer's perspective, according to Olympus. The 113,000 resolution LCD panel has 521 x 218 delta-aligned pixels. Olympus said it has not scheduled commercial release of the mobile Eye-Trek.

Olympus and Chuo University are planning to present the content of this test at the 4th Spring Conference of the Japan Society of Kansei Engineering, which will be held at Miyagi University in Sendai, Miyagi, from March 7 to 8, 2008.