SANTA CLARA, Calif.--To an unenlightened observer, Ron Haidenger's demonstration of playing a video game by tilting a piece of cardboard back and forth looks more than a little bit nutty.
But to anyone wearing his company's computer-enhanced glasses, which seamlessly delete the image of the cardboard and replace it with a metal ball spinning through a gleaming three-dimensional maze, it's a near-hypnotic experience.
"The response no matter where we show it is phenomenal," says Haidenger, manager of Vuzix's consumer division. "There's a huge hunger in the market for AR hardware."
AR is, of course, short for "augmented reality." The concept isn't entirely new: it's crept into public consciousness in the last few years in the form of those virtual yellow line markers in broadcasts of football games and heads-up displays in some cars.
But a new crop of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists has more ambitious plans. They gathered here this week in the Santa Clara Convention Center for a conference that's not called one--the official title is the first Augmented Reality Event--to come up with concepts that will convince all but the most technophobic that they should be looking at the world through a new set of spectacles. … Read more