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Old January 11, 2008, 05:11 PM
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Default Vusix VR920 62" 3D monitor... in your pocket.

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Iwear Vusix VR920: 400$ US


Features:

6-foot slim single-cable design with USB and VGA connectors
iWearģ 3D enabled for automatic 2D/3D control; no buttons required
Built-in microphone
Integrated 3 DOF head-tracker

User Adjustable:

Removable, integrated speakers (no clumsy uncomfortable earbuds) can be upgraded or removed to allow the user to plug in their own headsets
viewer pivots up to 15 degrees for comfortable viewing angle
Soft, comfortable, hypo-allergenic nosepiece extends up to 3/8"
Custom fit head strap for extra secure fit

Advanced Optics:

32-degree field of view
3/4" eye relief and 5/16" eye box
2-3/8" intraocular distance (IOD)
Color corrected 10th order aspherical lens with diffractive surface

Technical Specifications:

Twin high-resolution 640x480 (920,000 pixels) LCD displays
Equivalent to a 62" screen viewed at 9 feet
24-bit true color (16 million colors)
Visor weighs 3.2 ounces
60 Hz progressive scan display update rates
Fully iWearģ 3D compliant and supports NVIDIA stereo drivers
Built-in noise-canceling microphone for internet VOIP communications
Built-in 3 degree of freedom head-tracker
USB connectivity for power, tracking and full duplex audio
Analog VGA monitor input
Support for up to 1024x768 VGA video formats

Box Contents:

iWear VR920
Headstrap
Lens cleaning carrying pouch
Drivers, manual and software disc
Quickstart guide with warranty and safety instructions

PROS
- 3D Stereo gameplay
- What looks to be a 62 ď screen
- Integrated speakers and mic.
- Head tracking
- Small enough to stick in your laptop bag an take with you

CONS
- 3D stereo works ONLY with Nvidia GPUs and stereo driver version must match your video card version which is tough because Nvidia hasnít updated their drivers since version 61.77. Fortunately there is a good 3d community where amateurs have created updated stereo drivers for the newer versions of the video cards. (still Nvidia only) Also at present there is no Vista support or support for the 8800 driver :x though they are working on it.

- The lcds used in the glasses have a native resolution of 640 x 480 and stretches it up to 1024x728 wich makes it damn near impossible to read text at the higher resolutions, though at 800x600 (which is as low as my resolution will go) text is quite readable, though the screen real estate is pretty small. Fortunately these glasses arenít really designed for reading text ( though WOW users will suffer because of this)

- The glasses claim 24bit colour, I am inclined to believe them, only because of the potential lawsuits they would have if they falsely advertised this. But certainly not because it actually looks like 24 bit colour. When you fire up a movie for the first time your sure to be disappointed. The glasses wont do dark areas very well and there is a surprising lack of colour depth for a 24bit monitor. After some adjusting with the brightness/contrast controls and the backlighting control, you can make the dark areas a lot better, though it does leave the rest of the colours look a bit washed. And youíll have to readjust them again before going back to the desktop. So if you want to use these glasses for watching movies, and youíre a bit anal in the visual quality dept then these will only disappoint you. But if youíre not so picky, you can easily forget the fickle colour and enjoy a movie on a screen that looks huge.

- The head tracking is a bit twitchy, its surprising because of the 3 sensors in the unit its only the yaw sensor that jumps a bit left and right, the up and down motion is nice and smooth, and the rolling motion is also smooth but when you try to hold still and look straight they will twitch a bit both left and right. At first I thought I needed to lay off the coffee and coke, but after I tried laying them on the table I found they still twitched left and right. After looking into this problem I found that there is a firmware patch due sometime soon to address this. Until then, there is an aftermarket program that can help smooth this out and it does a pretty good job.

- Game compatibility, at present there isnít a very large list of games that are compatible with the head tracking. The vr920 is still pretty new and game support is being added all the time, and there is an sdk available to help speed this up.

- The sound from the integrated speakers is not top notch, it isnít bad, and considering there size and price and they are easily adequate for most people. Unfortunately ďmostĒ people donít buy gadgets like this. Fortunately again, the manufacture had the foresight to make these removable, so you can very easily put on a good set of headphones.

- Eye strain, the screen in the glasses ďlookĒ to be about 9 feet away, but the truth is they really are only a couple centimetres from your eye, so you have to focus very close and this can really strain your eyes at first, after youíve used them for a while this wont be as much of an issue but it can really affect your total opinion of the product if you donít know about it before you use them. When you first get these glasses you should make a point of using them gradually over as much time as it takes to get you comfortable to focusing so close.

- Viewing angle, the glasses use what look to be little magnifying glass lenses to help focus out the images, because of this, you have to center the lenses between your eye and the screen, otherwise the corners of the screen will be out of visual range. The glasses do adjust fairly well though, the screens can be tilted 15 degrees up and down, and the nose piece can be pushed in and out to help get them in the right spot. Also good to note, that after pulling out the nose piece and putting it back in upside down, Iím able to wear them with my glasses on, they arenít quite as comfortable that way, but at least I donít have to switch out to contact lenses just to enjoy them.


Conclusion:
I know Iíve listed a huge amount of cons with these glasses, I donít intend to try and dissuade anyone from buying them really, I just want to make a point of letting you know that these glasses are far from perfect. The technology is only now beginning to become affordable to consumers. This generation of 3d glasses have a lot of quirks, but are VERY usable, and a testament to what is to come if we the consumers let them know we want it. I remember the first time I heard of a pda phone and I thought it was the greatest idea, when I got my first one it was a bit of a piece of crap, but I loved it just the same, and now a few generations later I have a pda phone of great quality and is everything I ever thought I wanted. These glasses are to me, my first ďpda phoneĒ not quite perfect but usable and a huge great step toward the ultimate gaming monitor. Iíve never had a more incredible experience with a computer game than when I finally got the 3d stereo drivers working, I actually had the impulse to reach up and flick switches, the 3d experience was that cool, and being able to just turn my head to look around while sitting in the cockpit of a 737 is as awesome as it sounds. Playing first person shooters is great to, you can look around just by turning your head, while you control the aimer and movement with your keyboard and mouse, or an Xbox 360 controller (I also heard the wiimote and nun chuck work on a pc as well) itís super immersive. These glasses are, bare none, the COOLEST thing Iíve ever bought for a video game. You may not have heard of such a thing as these until now, but in 2 or 3 product generations you wonít know any gamer WITHOUT one, mark my words.

Things this product needs to do better:

- much higher native resolution (as lcd becomes cheaper this will easily be possible)
- 32 bit colour (again costs will be doable in the future)
- Wider viewing angle will help the immersion factor IMMESURABLY
- Find a better way to view the screens close up than the lenses they have.
- Hire a web designer. Trying to get info on these is a pain, the forum is good though.

Who would I recommend them to?

- Gadget nuts (gadget nuts are quite used to unpolished products so youíll be able to enjoy them as much as I do. And as a gadget, these have a cool gadget factor as good as any.)
- Flight sim enthusiasts ( head tracking and 3d will blow you away. No other add on I own for FSX gives me the amount of immersion these glasses do, though with the screens in the glasses the way they are and the no vista or dx10 support (for the 3d stereo drivers I mean) you wont be able to get the visual quality youíve come to expect of a regular lcd screen if you use FSX for sight seeing, these arenít going to do it for you, but if youíre a sim enthusiast you wont be disappointed, and IL2 users will have a good time of it too.)
- Travellers ( got a laptop just to use while sitting in a hotel bored, but hate craning your head to the side to see the screen from the bed, or putting the thing on your legs because the blankets plug off the fans and it gets to hot? These glasses are for you, the visual quality isnít so bad really, so you can just pop these on and watch a movie from any angle on the hotel bed, also the earbuds are quiet enough so that they wont bother anyone else that is staying in the room with you.)
- Hard core gamers (but not to play games hard core, what I mean is, they arenít good enough for the perfect head shot just yet, but for single player and gaming for your own pleasure they are awesome because of the 3d and immersion factor, when the resolutions are better and the twitchiness of the head tracking are perfected these will give you a serious edge over the competition, but till then, you can practice using them on your own, youíll find youíll probably prefer using them to not, and wish the resolution was better already so you could use them online. Also because hard core gamers donít mind spending bucks to make there games more enjoyable)
- Anyone with an extra 400 bucks that they donít have a use for. The more people that buy into this technology now, the faster it will get perfected, and I WANT these to be perfect, they are awesome and I love em despite there flaws.

Ok, I think I said enough. Enjoy.
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Old January 11, 2008, 07:35 PM
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You have pics of these?
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Old January 11, 2008, 10:56 PM
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Old January 12, 2008, 12:21 AM
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nice review looks like a cool product for sure. i always wondered how they handled the view/aim in first person games with these headsets. you say,
Quote:
Playing first person shooters is great to, you can look around just by turning your head, while you control the aimer and movement with your keyboard and mouse
is the direction you aim (with the mouse) totally independent from the direction you are looking? can you move the aim cursor away from the center of the screen, or get it off the screen (like it was behind you)? sounds like it would be hard to get used to, but much cooler than the current standard of having a gun/sword welded to your chin in first person games...

any chance of a quick fraps video of some fps footage? or is it even possible to capture a regular video from a stereoscopic headset?
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Old January 12, 2008, 09:28 AM
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That is SO cool
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Old January 12, 2008, 12:01 PM
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Well to be honest i havnt played a head tracking fps yet, i'm more into the flight sim games. I'm pretty sure the 3d aspect wouldnt translate well to video, but i can try and make a video of the head tracking in fsx. I know for sure though that you dont aim with your head in an fps, but i'm not sure if the mouse stays in the same spot of 3d space or stays in the same spot on the monitor while your head moves through 3d space. in fsx though, the mouse curser will stay put when you turn your head, eg if you put it in the middle of the screen and turn your head, the world around you moves but the mouse stays in the middle of the screen i'd imagine the fps games are similar to this, but i'm only assuming.
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Old January 12, 2008, 12:37 PM
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This is one of the best product reviews I've read anywhere. Great job!
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Old January 12, 2008, 01:54 PM
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Thanks Squeetard, that means alot to me, this is my first product review ever, i was just so exited about the potential these glasses have i had to let the world know :D

I've been playing around with a program called GlovePIE, what it essentially does is hijack the glasses accelerometers and lets you run scripts that let you do what you please with them, it comes with scripts for the vr920 and many for the wiimote's accelerometers too, so you can combine the wiimote's movement functions with the vr920s, essentially giving you wii like functionality in your pc games with a 3d, VR twist. i dont have a wiimote yet so i cant test out how good this is, but its a great step in the right direction. Also with glovePIE you can use the vr920 to emulate your mouse, so you CAN use head tracking in any fps game (or any game that uses mouse look) regardless of actuall support from vusix, however, with this method you will be using your head to aim with, wich isnt so accurate (at least maby not untill you get used to it, remember your first time with a mouse? how accurate were you then??) fortunatly you can use the real mouse at the same time, so swing your head into position and fine tune the shot with the mouse, its pretty interesting, though tricky and will definatly make you re learn fps shooting and movement.
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Old January 12, 2008, 06:19 PM
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very cool. thanks for the info sir.
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Old April 23, 2008, 05:40 AM
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Large virtual monitor mixed with Stereo 3D...Will be nice when such devices are mainstream and all the bugs are worked out.
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