Life with Head Mounted Display [Part 4]

Dec 15, 2008
Mayuko Uno, Nikkei Electronics

Continued from Life with Head Mounted Display [Part 3].

This is the fourth part of my report on the usability of the "UP300x," which I borrowed from Nikon Corp. I will discuss its usability on metro trains assuming its use on commuter lines.

Let's start from the reaction of people when I was "viewing video while doing other things," the biggest hurdle in the use of the UP300x. I suppose many readers must think that it is "too embarrassing" to walk around outside wearing an HMD (head mounted display). Picture is worth a thousand words. I just want you to look at this photo first.

The photo on the right was shot when I had one of my colleagues, who is strict about HMDs, wear the UP300x and get on a subway train. It seems to me that he was naturally blending in with a typical scene inside a train.

For example, the man sitting next to him was paying no attention to him, devoted to reading a book with earphones on. Even the colleague, who is regarded as a cool guy by some in our office, failed to attract any interest from the people around him. What kind of reaction would you expect a normal person to receive?

These days, the inside of a train is a collection of private spaces for individuals who have no interest in each other. They include business men devoting themselves to their work with their notebook PCs, ladies carefully putting on mascara, young people indulging in comics sitting on the floor and so on. No one pays attention to something as harmless as an HMD.

Well, that's what I felt. Some reporters pointed out that, "Isn't it just that they were simply pretending not to be seeing anything?" when I explained the situation.