Advanced Imaging


Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

High Tech Becomes Child's Play


Wild Planet Toys, Inc. (San Francisco)
Kopin (Taunton, Mass.)
OmniVision (Sunnyvale, Calif.)

The Challenge

Wild Planet Toys, Inc. was looking to integrate sophisticated imaging technologies into a children's toy that would generate an exciting and fun experience for a cost-effective price point. The toy would enable the user to see clearly in the dark and view his/her surroundings from a distance. Wild Planet's overall goal was to create a "kid-cool" product that focused on imagination, creativity and fun.

The Solution

The Spy Video Car™ is a remote-controlled toy car equipped with an image sensor attached to its body and monocular eyewear to be worn by a user. A camera mounted on the front of the car sends an image wirelessly to the eyewear, which enables the user to drive the car in light or darkness up to 75 feet away. The Spy Video Car allows children to enjoy the "real life" perspective of driving from inside the car or to play secret agent with night-vision capabilities.

The Tools Used

A Kopin CyberDisplay® 300M LV monochrome active-matrix liquid crystal display (AMLCD) with a 300 x 225 resolution (0.16-inch diagonal) is incorporated into Wild Planet's Spy Video Car eyewear. Though it is similar in size to a grain of rice, the microdisplay, combined with special optics inside the Spy Video Car eyewear, creates a virtual big-screen image comparable to a full-size TV. The camera used is a CMOS image sensor manufactured by OmniVision.

The Difference it Made

"Kopin's microdisplays are ideal for integrating technology into toys. The display we use for our Spy Video Car is small and sharp and, unlike larger remote-mounted monitors, it ensures that no one other than the main viewer sees the secrets the car uncovers," said Katie Broughton, design engineer at Wild Planet. "As the first toy car with the night vision capability, the Spy Video Car allows children to navigate secretly in darkness and see clearly without being detected. The Spy Video Car was extremely well received at this year's International Toy Fair, and we expect it to be a demanded toy this holiday season."

The Spy Video Car is available at major retailers including Target and Toys "R" Us or online at

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