A group of researchers from Nokia and from a number of universities have devised a gadget that has the same benefits of Google Glass but eliminates the need for one to wear it around the face. The gadget provides an eye-level display which allows the user to have a quick and discreet access to one's personal messages, news and updates.
Dubbed as Loupe, the gadget is shaped into a cylinder which is about the size of a lipstick. It can be held up to one's eye when the person needs to check his Instagram, Twitter, etc. When not in use, the gadget can be easily tucked away in the pocket or can be worn like a pendant.
Loupe consists of several components such as a micro-display that came from an Epson Moverio BT-100 binocular head-up display. The LCD is a color display of 0.52 inch with a resolution of 960 by 540. It is run by the Epson Android computer. The front of the display uses simple magnifying optics. For the current prototype, the researchers used a jeweler's loupe in order to take advantage of its level of magnification. It measures 13mm in diameter and has a nominal magnification of 20x2.
Loupe is designed with a number of sensors for input. First among them is an Arduino Pro Mini which collects and preprocesses sensor data. The produced data is then forwarded to the Android control box that is nestled in the Epson Moverio. Next is the 9 DOF motion sensing that has a 3-axis accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer. The third one is an infrared proximity sensor which is situated on the end next to the optics. This is used in order to determine that instance when the device is held in front of the user's eye.
The device allows quick access to notifications and information feeds that the user may be interested in any time of the day. This could range from social media updates, news information, or updates from family and friends. When a new piece of information comes into Loupe, the display begins to blink as a way to notify the user. Of course, this notification alert from the device occurs only when it is not in use or it is in an idle stage.
"By having a handheld device that is in front of the eye only when it is used, we provide a very strong signal," says Kent Lyons, a principal research scientist at Yahoo Labs and co-author of the research paper. "Just as it is pretty obvious when someone is using their phone, the same is true of Loupe."