I bought this display with the intent of using it for a project to create a personal computer to help orient my thoughts and ideas while at work. It’s coming along slowly, you can see my post about that [here](https://www.reddit.com/r/learnprogramming/comments/7eb4ey/i_want_to_create_a_program_that_helps_me_organize/). I’ve used the display for a few months now for many things, and have been able to reflect on it.
**What it is:**
The Vufine display is a battery-powered personal display that allows for a 1280x720p monitor to be seen in the corner of your eye. It magnetically attaches to a clip designed to fit on the temple of most glasses frames. Although it is battery powered, it is not completely wireless as you need to have the micro-HDMI cable plugged in for the signal. It is charged with a standard micro-USB.
**The view of the monitor:**
The screen is a quarter HD 960x540p liquid crystal on silicon display commonly used in projectors. The display itself measures 5.28×2.97mm. Unlike the Google Glass’ display, it isn’t actually projecting an image onto the mirror/lens surface you see, which is why it isn’t transparent like the Glass is. Instead, it magnifies the tiny display by a single convex lens, which makes the display appear to fit inside the housing’s borders.
It can be adjusted up or down pivoting on the magnet, or side to side like [this](https://imgur.com/a/XWA82). You can adjust it closer and farther away from your face by positioning the magnetic glasses temple clip. For the best view with the included glasses, it sits about 10cm from the lens, or about 30cm from your eye. It has an option to select 3 different viewing modes; standard, zoom, and fit. When the device is on these are selected by pressing the power button.
The frame appears to be about 3.5 x 2.0cm when measured from my eye’s focus point (about 3″ from my nose), which seems to take up just a small part of my entire field of view (Not including the rest of the Vufine you see), considering at 3″ away my field of view measures about 50cm diameter with one eye. But just as you focus on any device screen for a long time, your mind hides the image of your surroundings because of the Troxler effect, making the Vufine’s display appear to be your entire field of view when focused on. Normally looking at the screen with one eye, it looks like [this diagram I made](https://i.imgur.com/Ow3bo8m.png), although [this picture I took](https://i.imgur.com/U2XXECW.jpg) shows it pretty well. With both eyes open, the display borders fade into the background as your left eye focuses on it, so the display stays visible but the edges disappear behind it, looking like [this](https://i.imgur.com/mlVfIYw.jpg). When focusing on the background, it also appears translucent because of your left eye.
The tricky part is getting the display perfectly visible. Angling it in any direction throws off the visibility of one side of the view. You can see in my pictures above that the corners are somewhat blurred due to misalignment. Related to this, the glasses that it comes with are the best for the visibility of the screen, as expected. Using my own glasses and others, I’ve seen that the glasses’ length between the hinges screws up the view angle. Too big of glasses and it fuzzes out the left side of the screen. Too small and the right fuzzes. Both of the frame mounts don’t really help for this too much. You can still see most of the screen, it’s just the corners usually.
[Image of it](https://i.imgur.com/CF4MzaH.jpg)
It uses a 3.7V 300mAH lithium polymer battery that measures 55x10x4mm and has an internal resistance of 110 milliohms. They say that it is supposed to last approximately 90 minutes after a full charge, although I have seen it degrade over use. Now, after almost daily use and probably about 100 charge cycles, it usually lasts just over half an hour. I’ve noticed it gets somewhat warm after a few minutes as well. The outside case usually reads about 105°F with normal use. Because the battery is pressing tight against the video processing board, I wonder if the trapped heat may potentially cause damage to it. So far so good, though.
The backplate comes apart by slowly seperating the rim. You can see the underside of the backplate houses two small magnets which hold the Vufine to the temple strap/clips.
I’m not an expert on circuit board components, but this is what I can see:
It uses an Analog Devices ADV7611 HDMI Reciever which converts the data from the HDMI port into a digital output the display’s pixels can read. The signal cable is a 33 position FFC which uses only 27. The 4th and 5th lines are for power which is spaced between the unused traces. I found this out from [r/AskElectronics](https://www.reddit.com/r/AskElectronics/comments/7sbl4x/what_kind_of_ribbon_cable_is_this/) so I can look into customizing the Vufine by separating the display from the driver board with a longer FFC cable. I would be designing and 3D printing another case (won’t damage the original) for both and integrate it into a pair of glasses I have, where the driver board would sit behind the ear, and the battery would be eliminated and powered by the computer’s battery. If I need to have the HDMI cable connected anyway, might as well save space and have 2 cables between them.
The HDMI receiver it uses also has an audio output pin on pin 48. I’m not sure if it’s configured to be live, but if it is, there is potential to add an audio jack or even an integrated speaker.
There are some unknown solder-ready plated holes on the board, 6 above the HDMI port and 1 between the two battery leads. I’m hoping the one between the battery wires is for a battery with a temperature sensor that may shut the device off if that pin is activated, like in smartphone batteries. I’m also hoping it works, although because the battery only has 2 leads makes me think it does nothing.
All in all, it’s good for what it is designed to do. The picture quality is better than I expected, the design looks visually appealing, and it’s relatively inexpensive. Not to mention there are no other wearable displays on the market that work as a monitor, and allow HDMI input from whatever you want. A few things I’d change: A better mounting system for adjusting the view or an option to tilt the display head side to side angular adjustment. I’d also increase the battery capacity, or eliminate it completely. It might need quite a bit of redesigning, but a wireless connection would also be very beneficial, and make it truly wireless. Vufine started in 2015 and has it available in white, as well as a left-eye version. It would be nice to see a new model be released sometime, making a completely wireless version while still keeping the HDMI port would surely be a good enough selling point.