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ID faces with Tele Scouter eye display

NEC launches its Tele Scouter head-mounted display, which could be used to instantly recognize strangers.

Images in the eyepiece appear like they're on a 16-inch screen a meter away. NEC

TOKYO--NEC has launched a lightweight head-mounted display that could be used with face-recognition technology to instantly display information about strangers.

We first heard about the prototype Tele Scouter two years ago, when it was proposed as an aid for interpreters, who would read translated text in the eye screen.

Another suggested use was as a reference for technicians and assembly workers, who can watch a video of how to put something together on the screen while doing it themselves.

NEC is launching it mainly with technicians in mind and says it can be used with commercially available earphones and microphones for maintenance work.

Other possible uses include entertainment and augmented reality applications, as well as looking up info about strangers through a face-rec application and a camera. NEC says the device could be used with cloud computing for a range of apps.

The Tele Scouter consists of the 64-gram eyepiece and a 360-gram Bluetooth-linked base unit worn on a belt. Viewing images on the eye screen is like watching a 16-inch screen from a meter away, according to NEC specs (PDF).

The Tele Scouter is priced at 400,000 yen (about $5,188) and is expected to ship in Japan in late December.