Post details: Gargoyle Cowboy

Gargoyle Cowboy

posted by ben on 11.07.02 at 10:56, null, null, hci, 1 comment Permalink

I just read Accelerando by Charlie Stross and am having a bit of a cyber utopian moment. Apparently this is well timed as I just got a call from a friend in London claiming the venture cap is flowing like it's 1999.

One of the three protagonists, Manfred, builds up a custom wearable from random bits and pieces to augment his memory. I'm wondering if technology has gotten to the point where it's finally possible to do this. I've made a few fitful attempts in the past but a combination of crap technology and my cheapness made it impossible.

I'm wondering if goggles/glasses are not the way to go. They'd be great if there were COTS HUDS but those don't exist. What if instead you had a number of small displays, much like a cross between a trader's workstation and the numerous magnifying glasses watchmakers used to mount on their heads. You could move them around and still have some semblance of interaction with reality even if no one would talk with you.

So, I'm thinking:

(1) Cowboy Hat (maybe a top hat?)
(2) Drill a couple holes in it and mount some little displays. Something like these http://www.emagin.com/. Of course it looks like these have some awful interface that is VGA but not through a VGA plug, so there's probably a lot of work involved in getting this going.
(3) Now you need to provide computer power for the thing. Maybe a stripped netbook with VGA out and a three way splitter? Maybe the innards of a full laptop? I'm a little stuck here.
(4) Then there's the question of battery life. This really needs to have enough juice to go for a day.
(5) Net connectivity is easy. Just jam a USB 3G card in the top and you're good to go.
(6) Input used to be a nasty problem. Now I'm just thinking bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Maybe those pretty Apple ones. It'd be nice if there were something you could use while wandering around but the convenience of a real input device probably outweighs this.

I really like the idea of building this all into a 5lb hat. It might be a little heavy, but it'd be some much better than dealing with a million cables.

Comments:

Comment from: ben [Member] Email · http://ben.nonplatonic.com
It looks like putting together what I'm imagining would cost something like $10,000. I suppose I'll wait another 5 years and look again.

I'm thinking about buying a Lenovo X220T to replace my work computer. It seems like it would be a good ubiquitous thing to cart around the country.
Permalink 07/03/11 @ 13:32

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Comment from: ben [Member] · http://ben.nonplatonic.com
It looks like putting together what I'm imagining would cost something like $10,000. I suppose I'll wait another 5 years and look again.

I'm thinking about buying a Lenovo X220T to replace my work computer. It seems like it would be a good ubiquitous thing to cart around the country.
Permalink 07/03/11 @ 13:32