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Olympus unveils face-mounted display

Watch the TV through extremely large sunglasses

Olympus just put on sale in Japan a new version of its Eye-Trek line that could, quite literally, change the way you look at your television, DVD or games console forever.

The Eye-Trek FMD-700 is the latest in Olympus' line of face-mounted displays - high tech goggles that are worn like glasses but include two 0.55-inch LCD (liquid crystal display) panels for image projection.

Despite their size, the LCD screens give the illusion of looking at a much larger screen. Olympus says they offer the equivalent of viewing a 52-inch screen from a distance of two meters.

The screen offers an image of 500 lines - the same as a conventional television - and a physical resolution of 180,000 pixels, although the system uses a special system to give the illusion of 720,000 pixels, according to Olympus.

At this level, the new Eye-Trek offers around four times the resolution of Olympus' current model, which doesn't include the image enhancement system.

A pair of earphones are included with the product and, should the user prefer, a separate pair of headphones can be plugged into the device for better sound quality. The entire device weighs 105 grams.

A base station connects the high-tech glasses to any standard video source, such as a television, VCR (video cassette recorder), DVD (digital versatile disc) player or games machine.

The Eye-Trek can also be connected to a personal computer, although Olympus says the optical system that produces the illusion of quadrupling the image quality is not perfectly suited to PC displays.

Product Name: Eye-Trek FMD-700
Manufacturer: Olympus Optical Co. Ltd.
Price: 150,000 yen (£933)
Availability: Now in Japan; no details yet on overseas launch plans

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