Products that don't want you to look behind the curtain

In my last post, I mentioned a video display product, whose web page (at least the
front page), contains no mention of the actual physical mechanism used to display
the image in the air.  At first this seems odd; if they really have such a wonderful
technological breakthrough, you’d think they would brag about it!  (Modulo
patent issues, etc; but if that was a problem I doubt they would be publicizing themselves
at all, yet.)

When you finally find out why, it makes sense; the technology involves spraying an
invisible screen into the air, and projecting the image onto that.  While there
is no theoretical reason why it couldn’t work, it just sounds hokey; and raises
interesting questions like “where does the excess spray end up?”

Anyway, this got me thinking about another favorite technology of mine; the head-mounted
display.  I first heard of this particular project at the HITL
at the University of Washington (you-dub
to the locals – wait, that’s me, now!).  The technology involved
beaming a video image directly into your eyes; no screen required.  Well, this
seemed very cool; and when a company (Microvision)
was spun off to commercialize it, I even invested for a year or two.  (Internet
bubble, I made a few hundred bucks off them.)

Anyway, you may be asking yourself – what is the similarity between Microvision
and the fog-TV company?

I’ll give you a hint – see if you can find any use of the word “laser”
on the Microvision web site…