Lumus DK40 smartglasses are your personal HUD (hands-on)

One of the best demonstrations of wearable glasses at CES 2014 comes from a company that isn't even trying to make them.

Jessica Dolcourt
Jessica Dolcourt Editorial Director / CNET Franchises, How-To, Performance Optimization

Jessica Dolcourt leads the CNET Franchises, How-To and Performance Optimization teams. Her career with CNET began in 2006, and spans reviews, reporting, analysis and commentary for desktop software; mobile software, including the very first Android and iPhone apps and operating systems; and mobile hardware, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of practical advice on expansive topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).

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2 min read

LAS VEGAS -- Don't call it a pair of smartglasses. The Lumus DK40 is a frame that has more than a passing resemblance to Google Glass, yes, and it does project information on a surface. Yet Lumus, the company behind the yellow, orange, and slate-colored frames, isn't trying to sell the glasses at all. Instead, the Israeli-based company is trying to sell the optics.

The Lumus is a well thought-out working prototpye of a personal head-up display, or HUD -- like the kind you'd find in high-end car dashes and in military equipment.

While many of the other smartglasses here at the show used plastic lenses that obscured my vision, this was crystal clear. And rather than looking at a semi-blurry square image, Lumus' smartframes cast a blue image of any shape in the center of the field of vision for your right eye.

The crew here sprinkled the room with fun easter eggs like mapping coordinates, Twitter posts, a Facebook update, and a Yelp review.

Lumus DK40, the best smartglasses of CES 2014 (pictures)

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Perhaps the most important difference between the Lumus DK40 and others, apart from using actual glass lenses, is that there'e no fat cube of a beam splitter, or awkward separate projector screen. Lumus, a 13-year veteran in the field, has embedded prisms as part of a coating onto the glass. Though they appear striped when you look at them, your eye glues them together to form a cohesive image.

The optics are definitely Lumus' strong point. Although the actual frames that house the HUD are the most complete and polished here at the show, they're still lopsided, heavy, and -- for me -- ill-fitting. Lumus projects that its optical technology will graduate to commercial frames in about a year or year and a half.

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