Electronic Design

An HMD Odyssey

Pretend that it's the year 2010 and you have boarded an airplane for a long flight. Once seated, you remove your HMD from your pocket. No larger than your pair of sunglasses, it weighs a mere 100 g and is fitted with your prescription lenses. It's quite fashionable too. Thanks to your HMD, there's no need to remove your laptop from its case. All you require is the small keyboard that you place on your fold-down table.

With one keystroke, you turn on your HMD. A sharp and clear image, equivalent to a 44-in. screen focused at 30 in., appears on the binocular HMD display in an instant. It arrives from the transmitter contained in your keyboard. The VHF transmitter has begun feeding screen data to your HMD via the latter's built-in receiver, which is no larger than a pin head. When you want to take a break from your computer, tap another keystroke and the VHF receiver in your HMD switches frequency. The receiver tunes in to the inflight VHF microwatt transmitters located throughout the passenger cabin. You scan the list of available movies to view from your HMD and make a selection with one more keystroke.

You glance at the inflight movie and it's not to your liking, so you switch to your portable DVD player. Hitting another key, you load a disk into the DVD player and relax, content with your choice.

Gone are the days of those awkward TV monitors on the passenger cabin roof, the inflight screens on the forward bulkhead. Gone are the times when you either had to put up with some six footer sitting in front of you, or else you wound up in the forward bulkhead seat by the window so that viewing the screen on the center bulkhead was basically impossible.

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