By Nate Adcock on Fri, 01/08/2010
I have always wanted a pair of these Vusix Vid-ware thingamabobs, and then I always talk myself out of splurging on what I consider a frivolous item. Then I tried some similar models before X-Mas at Brookstone and wasn't all that impressed, but today I might finally be convinced to get me some. I was able to try out their latest models (Wrap 920), with a 67" (at 10 feet), clear display...even in 3-D! It was really pretty amazing, and darnnit, I now again have the Vusix bug. Of course they work with my iPod touch (or an iPhone), so now what excuse am I going to use not to get some, huh?
I tried the 310 models as well today (which features a 16:9 widescreen format), but preferred the 4:3 aspect ratio and better focus (IMO) of the 920s. The 920s MSRP for around $349.00. The Vusix folks have designed a number of useful devices/accessories that go with the units. These support a variety of audio and video output configurations.
The Wrap VGA Adapter allows you to connect VGA out from a computer to your eyewear, and the Power Sled brings A/V, USB sync/charge and media controls to your iPod touch or iPhone when using the glasses. Somehow, I wish they had a universal thing-a-mabob so if I did have to go and splurge on something this frivolous, I would feel better about having all the adapters I might need already included.
Finally, I was able to observe a demo of the next generation of Vusix eyewear that should be available soon: the 920AR (Augmented Reality) model which adds stereo optic cameras to the Vusix. The poor bloke I caught in the shot was manipulating a board as the background for a game. Superimposed in stereo onto the plain background was video game objects that he could move around the board by tiliting the board. The images were also being piped out to a large display above (in 2 screens). It was kind of cool, but the "game" was a litte distracting. I think it was designed to show the possibilities in an augmented reality sense for gaming in the future (think of the movie "Gamer", for example). Certainly games will need to evolve to support these aspects, but the Vusix solution looks very promising.
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