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Developments to Watch
WATCHING WHILE YOU WALK: A COUCH POTATO'S DREAM
At last: A product that lets you watch television every waking moment. Virtual Vision Sport, which is being rolled out nationally this summer, looks like a pair of ski goggles but has a tiny liquid-crystal-display TV projector inside. By focusing your eyes a certain way, you see what appears to be a big, slightly fuzzy TV screen about nine feet in front of you. Refocus, and the image disappears, allowing you to see the real world--say, the truck bearing down on you from 50 feet away. The cost is $900 for the 5-ounce goggles and 2-pound belt pack, which contains a tuner and batteries. Sound comes from the goggles or optional headphones.
Virtual Vision Inc. in Redmond, Wash., plans to enhance the goggles so they can pick up more than broadcast TV, including signals from satellites or a VCR or an in-flight movie. Among other possible uses: Surgeons, by refocusing their eyes, could alternate between looking at a beating heart and checking the patient's vital signs on a video monitor. The privately held company plans to make the goggles available in Europe and Japan as well by yearend.EDITED BY PETER COY