Vuzix VR920 glasses inch closer to virtual reality

Personal-viewing eyewear — wraparound sunglass-type video-projection goggles that create the illusion of watching a movie on a big screen floating before your eyes — has been around for years. None model has taken off because the resolution is too low, they're uncomfortable, and they use too much battery power. In short, they're just a bad idea.

But now a company called Vuzix (formerly Icuiti) has changed the rules. Its new VR920 ($400) video eyewear, which resemble Geordi La Forge's visor from Star Trek: The Next Generation, can approximate a 1,024 x 768-pixel 62-inch screen as seen from 9 feet away. They're best used for gaming: In addition to projecting the screen in front of your eyes, the V920 turns a flat 2D monitor view into a virtual 3D world. Using them with Microsoft Flight Simulator X, for instance, I could turn my head and get a full 360° yaw (left to right), 180° pitch (up and down) and 180° roll (touching my ears to my shoulders) to see what was going on around me, just like I was in a real cockpit. The only thing missing was the wind pulling my face back and a flapping scarf trailing behind me.

The VR920 weighs only 3.2 ounces, and its USB connection provides continuous power without a separate battery back. Full optical adjustment can be made for those who wear glasses so no gaming Poindexter will be left out. There are only a half-dozen compatible games so far — including World of Warcraft — but the company promises more Vuzix-compatible titles are on the way.

Via Vuzix