Wearable computing comes off the peg

2019-03-06 10:17:19

By Will Knight Wearable computers could become more than a curiosity with the launch of a system for the mass market. The Wearable Internet Appliance (WIA) consists of a 300 gram (11 ounce) palm-top-sized computer and a head-mounted screen. The display is manufactured by a Japanese company called Shimadzu and fits over one eye like half a pair of sunglasses. The viewable screen is then equivalent to a 33 cm (13 inch) monitor, according to Shimadzu. A small handheld controller allows the user to scroll around the screen and make selections. The miniature computer will be powered by Hitachi’s new 128 MHz RISC processor, providing power close to that of a desktop computer. It will run Microsoft’s CE operating system for handheld computers, which features cut-down versions of email and word-processing applications. Wearable computers been the preserve of hobbyists and computer science researchers for a number of years. This is the first attempt to market such equipment to general consumers. Hitachi has signed a deal with Xybernaut, a US company that specialises in wearable computer products, to market the computer. It plans to release the product around Christmas 2001 for roughly $2000,