|In November 2008, Vuzix (formerly Icuiti) launched two new additions to their
video eyewear range, designed to make you look like Geordi La Forge from Star
Trek. One of these new HMDs, the AV 310, is something of a first. It is a widescreen
head mounted display, specifically designed for 16:9 format.
Like the company's previous HMDs, keeping price and weight down is paramount,
yet still delivering a quality product. Despite additional optics in the display,
the 310 still only weighs 4 oz, same as previous models, which places it slightly
lighter than a pair of spectacles.
The display is, like most video eyewear, aa projection affair, doing its best
to make your eyes feel it is several feet away, yet all encompassing. You can
still see above and below the eyewear, not enough to drive, but enough to be
aware of your surroundings.
The projected image is equivalent to a 52-inch display as seen from nine feet
Refreshingly, the 310 is stereoscopic, with a separate widescreen display for
each eye, hence the considerable optics. Independent focus adjustment is possible
for each eye, so if one is weaker than the other, the display can be adjusted
As standard on most video eyewear, the earphone unit is removable if desired.
Should you decide to stop watching films on the unit - it is compatible with
every AV standard available - you can switch it back to a 4:3 ratio at the push
of a button on the control pack, for use in standard gameworlds, and those social
VR environments that do not handle widescreen very well. However, there is a
problem with using it for standard VR. Whilst it will work, the resolution is
only 428 x 240, drastically limiting what is possible, unless you use it predominantly
for watching media - which is what the unit is designed primarily for.