Vuzix, the self-proclaimed “world leader in video eyewear technology,” has revealed the iWear high definition video headphones (scooping the name before Apple decides to get into the headsets game), which are now available for pre-order and are also being made available for fans to try directly on the floor at E3. The battery-powered iWear is designed with mobile gaming and entertainment in mind.
The device’s dual HD screens create the equivalent experience of sitting 10 inches from a 130-inch television screen, but without a beleaguered parent, or perhaps a concerned child, to yell at you about ruining your eyes. Also, it’s compatible with any device that outputs 2D or 3D HDMI video. That includes PCs, gaming consoles, mobile phones, and Blu-ray players. The plush, over-ear headphones include 40 mm drivers for immersive, noise-isolating sound.
Vuzix specializes in manufacturing digital video eyewear of various kinds, so they’re no bandwagon-jumping Johnny-come-lately to the VR craze. They have produced both immersive, virtual reality systems, like these slick-looking shades, as well as a range of augmented reality systems, like this, which I can only assume is used to determine if a fighter’s power level is over 9,000.
Earlier this year, Intel announced that it had invested nearly $25 million in the Rochester-based hardware developer as a general capital boost to enhance Vuzix’ ability to bring consumers “fashion-based wearable display products.” The transaction gave Intel a roughly 30-percent ownership stake in Vuzix. The iWear’s presence at E3, one of the year’s largest events in digital entertainment, may be some of the first fruits of this investment.
The Vuzix iWear is available now at a special pre-order price of $450 from its website. It will also be on the floor at E3’s South Hall this week if you happen to be in Los Angeles and want to try before you buy.