You seem to be looking down a hallway at a huge movie screen about six feet away.
Al Fasoldt's reviews and commentaries, continuously available online since 1983

T e c h n o f i l e
Movies are an eye-filling treat with Myvu video glasses

July 6, 2008

By Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2008, Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2008, The Post-Standard

   I love my iPod nano. But my eyes have a different opinion, especially when I rent movies from the iTunes Store. The screen is so tiny that I sometimes get weepy-creepy orbs just trying to focus on everything.
   A bigger screen is out of the question. The nano is not much bigger than a stack of five credit cards and could hardly be easier to carry. I wouldn't give it up for anything.
   So as soon as I heard about the new $300 Crystal video eyeglasses from Myvu, I knew I had to try them out. They mate perfectly with video iPods -- you simply plug your iPod into a little dock that hangs from a cable -- and they're touted as showing a near-DVD quality image that's projected into each eye. They work with Microsoft Zune players and other video sources, also.
   The Myvu Crystal video glasses even look cool, in a kind of Star Trek sort of way. (Anybody remember LeVar Burton's character in ST:TNG? He wore video glasses, too.)
   As soon as they arrived, however, I found a problem -- at least for my older-than-a-teenager eyes. I'll explain what I mean shortly.
   First, the good stuff. The Myvu Crystal glasses perch comfortably on your nose and they're thin enough to keep from blocking all your vision. (But don't you dare try to walk, ride a bike or drive a car wearing these video glasses. I'd never speak to you again.)
   Video quality is great -- much better than I had expected. You seem to be looking down a hallway at a huge movie screen about six feet away. Both color and sharpness are good. Ear buds that dangle off sturdy cords on the earpieces provide smooth-sounding stereo, and you can adjust both the picture and sound from a little controller.
   The built-in rechargeable battery lasted long enough for two viewings of "Good Will Hunting" -- yes, I like that movie -- and I was able to recharge my iPod at the same time I charged the glasses, using one cable. I like that.
   But, alas, I didn't like the fact that the Crystal glasses lacked any adjustment for my eyes. Wearing the Myvu glasses over the top of my own eyeglasses seemed impossible, so I was never able to get a really clear view of the action on the screen. Camera makers often put diopter lenses in their viewfinders to accommodate differences in vision quality, and this is something Myvu should do, too.
   But if your eyes aren't like mine and if you want to spend $300 on a new toy, you might find these irresistible.