eye lines

The only time I’ve been in a meeting with someone wearing Google Glass he spent his time checking twitter on the phone, which seemed revealing on several levels. The social issues wrapped up in the idea of smart glasses will have to sort themselves out in the long run; but the technology is still a work in progress too. A company with some of the early patents on wearable screens thinks that trying to fit projectors into eyewear in the first place might be a blind alley: use waveguides instead, and the images can appear inside the glass lenses themselves. Nokia spent millions laying some of the groundwork, and now Vuzix are about to unveil prototype waveguide glasses at the next CES.

And: ironing out the distortions in a badly diffused beam of light usually means making an artificial reference point and seeing what happens to the light from that first, but a project at Tel Aviv’s Weizmann Institute has done the same trick without the reference. Apply the right mathematics, and the light arriving through an opaque screen can reveal enough about its convoluted path to let you focus a microscope through the barrier and spot whatever light source is on the other side. It’s complicated, requires two-photon fluorescence, has so far been used on very small objects, and hinges on non-linear optical behaviour. Still a neat trick though.