JERUSALEM – An Israeli optics company says it has developed a miniature video projector that turns regular eyeglasses into a personal video screen.

The technology, which until now has only been seen in movies such as Mission: Impossible, projects a widescreen video image unnoticeable to anyone but the bespectacled individual.

“Imagine you’re sitting in a meeting and you want to read an e-mail … you just click a button on the phone in your pocket and you start reading away while you’re looking attentively at the person who’s giving the presentation,” Ari Grobman, business development manager at Lumus Ltd., said in an interview.

Lumus has been approached by major manufacturers of cellular phones and portable media players and expects the product to be on the market during 2007, Grobman told Reuters.

Motorola Inc is listed as an investor in the venture capital-funded company.

The product can be used as regular, corrective eyeglasses, but it also creates an image matching that of a 70-inch television screen viewed from 10 feet (3 metres) away, Grobman said.

The difference between this eyewear and ordinary spectacles is only in the small, black box attached to the earpiece that receives the video signal and projects it into the lenses. The light waves then travel through fibre optics within the lenses where they are enlarged and directed at the eyes.

Aside from watching movies and checking e-mails, Grobman said the technology will eventually provide drivers with virtual navigation through GPS.