Monthly Archives: October 2023

A future of wearable displays

…is here!

I reviewed the XREAL Air recently and walked away with a new tool in my computing kit: display glasses/head-mounted displays (HMDs).

The space is definitely heating up. Manufacturers are dropping the bulky, computationally heavy devices with oodles of sensors (although the Air ships with some amount of IMU capacity, my use case neglects it completely), and pushing towards lighter and brighterdog devices with a focus on the actual display technology instead of the bells and whistles of the Oculus and so forth.

However! The Air indicates that manufacturers are wearing institutional blinders around the kinds of products they should be developing. The addressable display space on the Airs is 1920×1080, the standard 1080p resolution of high-end TVs from a decade ago. However, actually wearing these glasses, and looking at the edges can get a bit painful, as the eyes have to rotate a significant distance from dead center in order to get the fovea pointed at the corners of the screen.

Stretching to look at the corners of the screen is largely irrelevant when working with display glasses and Ubuntu, as they’ve long since gone to the “search first” UI paradigm, and away from the Windows-style Start menu paradigm (I also have no problem with other LInuxes that I’ve beaten into submission with my favorite tiling window manager EXWM, although that is a post for another time). That said, I do find myself attempting to optimize content for the center of the display, because holding my eyes out at the edges of my field of view for extended periods of time does become a bit tiring.

Some suggestions for designers of this kind of hardware: reduce the field-of-view, reduce the onboard compute requirements so that these devices only do computation necessary to decode DisplayPort 1.4, and drive the things towards the highest pixel count possible.

XREAL Air: get your touch-typing game on, usable wearable displays are finally on the market.

The display-goggle revolution is finally upon us. You can now buy USB-C powered glasses-form-factor displays that output a perfectly acceptable 1080p, 1920×1080, which is entirely adequate for all of my email and programming tasks on the road. Follows are notes on my experience using these display glasses for all sorts of out-and-about computing. I won’t be reviewing any of the AR/XR functionality, as I think that’s a techno/social dead end without a few more technological breakthroughs in building and inhabiting virtual spaces together.

Read on for my review of these display glasses.

Continue reading XREAL Air: get your touch-typing game on, usable wearable displays are finally on the market.

Interpreting a Peterson tweet about pedophilia and Korn’s “Daddy”

I am absolutely at a loss for how Magdalene J Taylor got into my feeds, but since her writing piqued my curiosity, I put her website blog newsletter Substack RSS feed into this ancient-and-yet-still functional technology I use to keep up to date with interesting people called an RSS reader. Naturally, I got a quick dose of her past works, and in the same way I do with all new subscriptions skimmed her backlog.

In the piece “All Day I Dream About Sex” (itself a reference to a Korn song discussed in the post) Magdalene cites Petersen, about the Korn song Daddy: “Minor attracted person the aftermath warning this won’t make your day.”, following up with her own interpretation, that:

 I believe he is saying that the song is the result of the boogeyman discourse that alleges that some people are trying to normalize pedophiles by branding them as “minor attracted people.” The song is upsetting, and therefore won’t “make your day” if you listen to it.

Which isn’t much clearer than the original quote. I proffer my own interpretation: Jordan crusades relentlessly against the normalization of pedophiles with language like “minor attracted person”. I’d re-write that tweet of his to say something along the lines of “This Korn song shows the aftermath of pedophilic abuse, and what I expect to see a lot more of if we let folks normalize child abuse This song won’t make your day.”

I’d have left it as a comment on the lady’s site, but her publishing platform is configured such that you can’t even leave a comment without writing her a check for 10 bucks a month or whatever.