Vuzix iWear AV230 XL video glasses
Give your iPod or games console specs appeal
Review Today, we're looking at - literally - the Vuzix AV230 XL headset, a set of video specs that create a picture that's the equivalent of a 44in screen 2.7m away. Yet the goggles are small and light enough they'll slip into your pocket, begging the question – is that a 44in telly in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?
Vuzix develops eye wear for the military, so it should know what it's about. Making decent video specs means more than just working on the displays - it's the optics and the casing surrounding it all too. Vuzix likes to feel it has all the pieces to complete the puzzle.
Vuzix's AV230 XL: military-grade tech?
The AV230 XL is the company's most basic model. The £130 unit uses two 320 x 240 OLED displays, one for each eye, with independent focus, should you have less than perfect vision.
Included with the glasses, is a carry bag, plus cables for the Nokia N95 and N96, iPod and a generic composite-video and audio input - yellow, red and white RCA jacks. The glasses themselves only support a composite-video source, so you get all the associated issues that you are used to seeing with TV-out from computers: blurry text, ill defined edges, poor colours and colour-bleeding.
We did most of our testing using an N95, and we even had issues with flickering and poor colour saturation, but we consider this to be mostly down to the N95 itself as other devices didn't show this problem to anywhere near the same extent.
Plenty of bits in the box
One of the great aspects of using OLED displays is that the power consumption is really low. The AV230 XL runs off a single AA battery, and using the included alkaline battery you'll get up to seven hours of playback, Vuzix claims. Stick a Lithium Ion rechargeable battery in there and you can expect more like 17 hours. That's not bad at all, and using a standard like AA means it pretty easy to swap single-use batteries out for rechargeables, or buy them whilst out and about.
@AC: Do these
"To be blunt, can I use them for internet porn?"
As in to get to the point?
Mine's the one with the Razzle mag in the pocket..
"Today, we're looking at - literally"
Do we assume that you do not - literally - look at the other review devices...?
(Sorry - it's going to be one of those days)
Agree with Danny
Had mine (the widescreen(!) £150 version) for a few days but they are going back tomorrow. The build quality is actually very good and I can put up with the low res screens BUT the optics do cause a big problem for me ... I get to see one screen perfectly but then the other one is dreadful (it appears to have a width of vision of about 5 degrees from centre on!) ... could be my eyes being not exactly the same width apart as the original designers 8-).
Yes you can use them with or without glasses ... I had to keep my glasses on because the built in focal adjust does not go far enough for me.
If they could up the resolution somewhat ... 1024 x 768 would be great ... and get the optics sorted out I would easily buy one again. Until then I'll just hold my iPod touch 10 inches away from my head instead (I can feel a headband attachment for the touch coming on 8-)
@Rob: VR Headset + Wiimote
Got one at home. eMagin z800 + Wiimote + Voice commands. Wii balance board for movement, one serious GlovePIE script for sticking it all together- playing Oblivion takes on a new feel when you feel like you're really hoverboarding through Cyrodiil! It's almost as good a game as the graphics would suggest. Though I imagine I seem a little odd to the neighbors...
Check out MTBS3D.com for all your stereoscopy needs!
VR headsets are also great for making yourself motion sick with jerry-rigged AR systems.
Work for normal computer use? Could I use it instead of a monitor?
To be blunt, can I use them for internet porn?