What is i-Spy?
i-Spy is an invisible screen for retina of the human eye. You can see the screen normally only by the aid of polarized film. We have initially developed this technology for medical application in ophthalmology in 2011, and have accumulated various experiences at international events such as science workshop, projection mapping and digital signage, since 2012. Now we are going to develop mass production line in our factory to fabricate i-Spy tablets to establish its new market of privacy enhancement for consumers.
$25 - Science experiment KIT includes following items:
- A special knife and single-edged blades
- Linear polarization filter with absorption axis marker
- Sunglasses and eye protector
- Instructions to create i-Spy privacy enhanced screen
- LCD calculator for trial
You can create original i-Spy screen from your used LCD monitor by scratching and removing polarization filter on it, just like Brian Dodson's article in Gizmag.
$49 - i-Spy T-shirt is black-colored, original logo printed. We will source design ideas from backers and will decide the final design by voting.
$199 - $249 i-Spy tablet is a specially fabricated, Android tablet having following basic specs. Detailed specs will be decided after starting the project, such as camera, display resolution, dimension and weight or battery, according to the quantity of orders!
- LCD: 7 inch, i-Spy privacy enhanced technology with touch panel
- OS: Android 4.2 (or later)
- CPU: Quad Core 1GHz (or faster)
- Memory: 1GB (or bigger)
- Internal Storage: 8GB (or bigger)
- External Storage: microSD card
- Network: WiFi 802.11b/g/n connection
- i-Spy polarized glasses included
- i-Spy recovery cover case included (only for $249 backers)
$999 i-Spy privacy enhanced iPad Air(R) is a specially fabricated, Apple(R) iPad Air(R) device of 16GB WiFi model with a recovery cover case and polarized glasses. We will purchase iPad Air(R) instead of you and fabricate it in a clean room at our factory. Of course you can choose a color!
$2,999 i-Spy 42 inch HD LCD is a specially created monitor for digital signage having HDMI input and VESA mount which works at 110-220V (50/60Hz). You will also get twelve pieces of polarized glasses and one square meter polarizing filter for your original expression, such as art installation, secret event, advertising or public viewing.
$99 - $4,999 Limited Rewards are also available, please check it now!
How does it work?
The basic mechanism is quite simple. We created a special screen without the polarizing layer, as shown in the figure, then the two images will be mixed on the screen; one is a horizontally-polarized, positive image and another is vertically-polarized, negative image. Human eye cannot distinguish the two images because its retina does not have sensory receptor for polarization, although a honey bee can, so the screen appears to be completely white for us.
Since the polarizing filter can cut vertically polarized image selectively, we can see what is on the screen normally only by wearing polarization glasses. That is a simple explanation for the i-Spy mechanism. But, recently circular polarization and quarter-wave filter are also used within ITO touch panels to absorb diffused reflection inside the panel, so the i-Spy will also adopt such technologies. For more information about LCD and polarization, please check Wikipedia.
Meet us at Maker Faire 2014 in NY!
We are going to join the World Maker Faire in New York Hall of Science on Sept 20-21, 2014. We would like to invite volunteer attendants on our booth. If you are interested in it, check $99 - Volunteer attendant pledge.
Development history of the i-Spy
- Invented by Yaguchi Electric Corporation in Japan for ophthalmic instruments in 2011.
- Maker Faire: Tokyo Exhibition and science workshop in 2011 (Tokyo Institute of Technology) and 2012 (National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation).
- Maker Faire: Taipei 2013 Exhibition and science workshop
Design Ah! exhibition by Japan Broadcasting Corporation collaborating with takram design engineering at 21_21 design sight in 2013.
- Special exhibition for Louis Vuitton corp., collaborating with A4A Inc. directed by PARTY Inc. at Tokyo Station Hotel in 2013.
- Technical cooperation for SHISEIDO's display window in Ginza, Tokyo in 2013.
- Meet us at Maker Faire: New York 2014
- Now, Kick-starting i-Spy invisible tablet!
Risks and challenges
We've been working on i-Spy for almost four years and now we could ensure the prototypes of both i-Spy tablet and LCD monitor worked perfectly, as you can see on the video, so we are now launching the Kickstarter project!
Below are a couple of the main challenges we will tackle:
Production line: The quantity of orders on the Kickstarter project will help determine how we handle this. When we receive orders for under 1000 units, we will source original OEM tablets and dismantle them manually and carefully to create i-Spy screen by removing polarizing filter on automatic separation machine in our factory and re-assemble them. If we received 1000 orders or more, we will be able to develop an original production line specialized for i-Spy LCD module.
Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Technical challenges: Recently circular polarization and quarter-wave filter are also used within ITO touch panel to absorb diffused reflection inside the panel. So we should adopt such technique into the i-Spy screen and glasses.