I suspect we're on the cusp of another sea change in technology folks, and this time it involves eye wear...
Nope, we're not turning into a fashion site (you've seen us on TrustedReviews Video, right?) instead we're talking about video glasses. Now those of you with good memories will know where we're going here as Vuzix was featured on TR in April and now the company is back, keen to show us its latest wears (pun most definitely intended) as well as give us a sneak peek into the future.
Ok, first the present as this week sees the launch of the 'AV310' (top) and 'AV230XL' (bottom) - two new headsets which for the first time bring native 16:9 widescreen viewing to the company's range and simultaneously dispel the myth that too much TV will give you square eyes... (apologies)
The AV230XL also employs an OLED display meaning brighter, higher contrast screens and also a dramatic reduction in power draw which drags its stamina up to seven hours on the single AA battery (the AV310 still manages an impressive five hours). As for the virtual screen sizes themselves, you'll see a whopping 52 inches from the AV310's and a non-too shabby 44 inches from the AV230XL - a darn site better than having to hold your PMP a few inches from your nose for two hours.
Like existing Vuzix models, the duo also work with any device capable of TV Out meaning, iPods, iPhones, numerous handsets (notably smartphones) and even the Nintendo Wii will all play nice. As for pricing, at £129.99 (AV230XL) and £149.99 (AV310) your wallets are not in for quite the heavy hit you might've expected.
So, to the future! At yesterday's briefing TR also got a sneaky look at the company's plans for next year via a mysterious Pulp Fiction/Marcellus Wallis-style security case. No photography was allowed unfortunately, but the products - due for launch at CES in January (yours' truly will be there) - had form factors virtually indistinguishable from standard sunglasses as well as see through lenses so they could be worn walking down the street. No time frame (pun not intended) however for the 2009 release was mentioned.
Talking then progressed to the notion of virtual avatars (think Golden Compass), as well as some quite head-spinning conversation about Terminator-esque head's up displays (think: never forget that person's name again; singled/coupled-up identifiers for people in bars, etc...) but I'll stop here, because it all gets a little Top Secret...