Virtual Reality (VR) head gear - getting lighter and HD
Virtual Reality, 3D, head tracking and HD video are coming now in smaller packages which are much more wearable. Whether laying back just watching a movie or especially when jumping around playing an action packed video game this is good news. The latest from Vuzix builds on many years of experience and delivers a comfortable large screen experience (stated by them as 55° FoV) and has head tracking, 720HD, 3D and compatibility with a large portfolio of games as with earlier models. Existing products (1200 series) available now, but the V720 coming in second half.
I saw and tried the Avegant Glyph at the press only Pepcom event. Reasonably nice unit, comfortable and the screen experience was okay, but couldn't focus my left eye so couldn't get the binocular image together. They said this was a problem with the prototype, but can't give this high marks without seeing the optics working properly. At this point it appears to be video viewing eyewear and not a VR games platform. Didn't get a clear idea of availability and what their initial products will be, but definitely one to watch. They are having a Show 'n Tell session in London next month, so I might get a better idea at that.
Sony showed a new HMD and it seemed to have all the bells and whistles, and must be considered a contender for many reasons. Not always easy to tell if this is a serious business initiative or an attention getter. As an attention getter it was a success for them at CES!
The one that gets the prize for bulky is the Oculus Rift. Every time I try one of these on I am amazed by the quality, but soon start feeling strange and have to take it off. I have yet to see anyone using these that wasn't holding on for dear life with two hands! The latest prototype that they showed that apparently do head tracking better (with an external camera) is even bigger.
everyone is excited, but it all reminds me of the 1990's! They seem to have gotten enough funding to get this right though.
Basically, if there is really a huge market for these they are on the right track, but unless they can connect with smartphones and do immersive 3D VR games I'm just not sure. They can of course do this for the video, but the head tracking and control channels are not yet standardised for this to happen soon. Come on Apple, get your API's in shape!