Ever fancied a pair of those video glasses but felt you’d look a bit silly? Well Vuzix has come up with a set that would easily pass for wrap-around sunglasses.
The US company claims its Wrap 920AV is the most advanced video eyewear yet produced – offering the viewing equivalent of a 62-inch screen seen from 3m away.
David Lock, director of Vuzix’s European operations, spoke to smartphone.biz-news at the Showstoppers event on the eve of Mobile World Congress 2009 in Barcelona.
Click below to see a video interview with David Lock:
He said unlike its competitors, Vuzix has concentrated on providing the best consumer viewing experience with its existing four models – rather than focusing on look and style.
But he said the new Wrap glasses transformed the whole video eyewear from "geek to chic".
Certainly consumer interest in this type of product seems to be hotting up – helped no doubt by the growing demand for mobile video.
Since its launch in Europe last March, Lock said Vuzix has sold USD $500,000 worth of video glasses.
Typical buyers range from commuters to parents buying them for teenage children to watch video on their iPods during car journeys.
Aside from the new Wrap, it offers fours models ranging from 44" to 62" in 4:3 and 16:9 screen formats.
The iWear VR1440 is aimed specifically at gamers.
With removable earphones and HD 2D and 3D viewing, the glasses run off a single AA alkaline battery that provides between 5-11 hours of viewing depending on the model and use.
The eyewear can be used with a growing list of smartphones and mobile devices.
But if the Wrap’s more fashionable look sounds appealing, Lock said the spec’s ability to allow viewers to experience augmented reality would be just as big a selling point when they are launched in the Fall.
Essentialy that means the glasses’ "see-thru" lens design allows users to see what is around them while watching a video display or experiencing augmented or mixed reality on mobile devices such as the iPhone.
He is enthusiastic about the possibilities that offers – such as being able to walk around a city wearing the glasses while following directions from a GPS map on the widescreen lenses.
We tried out the glasses at Showstoppers and the quality is impressive – what might still put some people off are the prices, which begin at USD $199 for the most basic model.