Perhaps taking a cue from Katie Williams’ “Inview Goggles,” German company Rodenstock has developed a prototype set of sunglasses that can display your running time and heart rate in your peripheral vision through a wireless data link.

“If wearable computing is going to be popular you need to provide some information, but not a lot,” [optics engineer Mike] Hazel says, “our goal was to produce something very light that could be styled into a normal spectacle.”

The Informance sunglasses work on the same principle as bifocals. Rather than using a prism to change the focal length of what you are looking at, it displays the information in a 320 by 240 pixel display in the left lens. The display and wireless link only adds 7 grams to the weight of the sunglasses.

The prototype only shows you your chronograph and heart rate, but there is plenty of space for other information. I hope that when they release their product (in 2009) that they provide an API so that people can hack the watch and the sunglasses to customize what their glasses can show. The company that developed the technology is already looking at integrating GPS.

I will not be an early adopter for these, unfortunately. As cool as I think that they are (and there are pictures in the linked article below), I would not be able to justify the 1k Euro expense. A very neat idea, though, so hopefully the price comes down within a few years.

(Source: New Scientist Tech)