Failed virtual reality firm, Virtual i-O, has been born again as i-O Display Systems LLC after a rescue bid by Telecommunications Inc and liquid crystal display specialist Ilixco Inc. i-O Display Systems, now based in Menlo Park, California, will continue to offer its i-glasses product, a lightweight head mounted display technology originally developed by Virtual i-O. The company has found a new niche for the technology in the medical market where it has 20,000 systems installed in dental offices across the US. The glasses are used as patient distraction systems to keep patients occupied during surgery. The company also hopes to get revenue offering replacement parts for the 50,000 installed systems worldwide, the users of which have been charged inflated prices since the demise of Virtual i-O. i-O Display Systems will concentrate on those niche markets, said president Jeffrey Fergason. Virtual i-O did not succeed because it invested heavily in a market that did not develop. We will have a realistic market base, identifying customers and having a targeted sales program. The Virtual i-O buyout follows a similar buyout of Virtuality Group Plc which went out of business earlier this year and began trading again in July as Retinal Displays (CI No 3,212). i-O Display is now 75% owned by Ilixco and 25% by TCI. TCI is an active development partner, but has not disclosed project details.
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