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Monday, February 06, 2006

Small screens get big

Here's my Entertainment 2.0 column from yesterday's Boston Globe, which focuses on ways to make the images on portable devices - iPods, cell phones, PSPs, etc. - look bigger.

Here's the opener:

    Stuart Auerbach doesn't mind being mistaken for a cyborg in airports across the country.

    On a trip last month that took the Wellesley venture capitalist to Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, and back home, Auerbach was wearing a pair of narrow, futuristic glasses with integrated headphones.

    The glasses, made by MicroOptical Corp. of Westwood, enlarged the image from Auerbach's video iPod, making it seem as though he were looking at a 25-inch screen from about 6 feet away.

    Auerbach may have been watching ''Master and Commander," but he looked like ''RoboCop." His glasses, a freebie from his friend Mark Spitzer, the chief executive of MicroOptical, are part of a new wave of products designed to improve on the screens of our tiny portable devices. These next-generation displays will allow you to surf the Web on your cellphone without squinting or catch up on ''Conan" during a transcontinental flight.

The piece also mentions other solutions: rollable displays from Philips and E Ink, and palm-top LED projectors from Toshiba, Mitsubishi, and Samsung.