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Human Potential in the Age of Exponential Tech

Gadget Review – MyVu Personal Media Viewer

The nice people over at MyVu sent me a cool pair of MyVu Crystal “personal media viewers” (read: goggles!) to play around with. I have to admit I was really fascinated by the idea. They retail for about $300.

So I’ve been trying them out for the last few days and I have to say, it’s definitely changed the way I look at my iPod. They are a great device for techies as well as early adopters who want to get a jump start on the future of portable video viewing. I’m not going to spend a lot of time regurgitating specs and what not, you can find that information here.

Instead, I’m going to talk about my experience with the device and my overall thoughts.

Things I liked:

One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard about the video iPod (and similar devices) is the inability to truly enjoy watching movies on such a little screen. Even TV shows can be a bit of a strain on the eyes. These viewers readily tackle the problem by providing a bigger screen and surround sound. I definitely see a lot of potential as the technology improves. I watched three movies on the viewer and after a short initial adjustment period, I was completely used to them and enjoying the videos.

The device is light weight and easy to carry around, which is a huge plus since I’m usually a little tight on purse space, lol.

The pictures were bright and the sound was crystal clear, and thanks to the sample media reel that came with my device I was able to see a wide variety of footage from an animated movie (The Incredibles) to television episodes and sports.

I also liked that you can plug these bad boys into any video iPod or portable dvd player. I tried it out on several of my devices and it worked flawlessly each time.

Battery life was more than I expected, I watch almost eight hours before having to recharge the unit.

The Glasses sit on your face in a way that lets you still see your complete surroundings, which is great because you can use them on the subway without being worried about missing your stop or becoming unaware what’s going on around you.

Things I didn’t like:

There were a lot of wires, which made it annoying at times, and when connected to by Classic Video iPod the entire system seemed a little clunky. It’s not the worst flaw in the world, and you easily adapt, but I’m hoping the next few iterations will include a wireless set, because that would be awesome and way more convenient.

I would have also liked to have been able to adjust the glasses. Apparently, my head is a little small, and I would have preferred a tighter fit. Maybe that’s just personal preference and I’m being too picky, either way I’m just giving you all a heads-up. (Pun unintended, although thoroughly enjoyed.)

You can’t really walk around with them unless you want to be called Gordi Laforge, which depending on your perspective might be the best or worst thing ever.

Overall you’ll like these if….

If you travel a lot, or have a long commute to work (note: NOT WHILE DRIVING) then this might be a good investment for you since it really heightens the enjoyment of watching videos on smaller devices. I really liked test unit and am currently debating getting my own set because I often find the selection of movies available when I travel to be limited, and the last time I watched Sex and the City on a plane, the guy next to me kept looking at my screen during the um…intimate parts, and it made me uncomfortable! I’m sure he thought I was watching porn or something, lol.

If you’re a college student who has to share a dorm, or travel from school to home, these are great as you can watch movies in bed without disturbing your roommate. If you wanted to be really practical (aka nerdy) you can upload your teacher’s powerpoint presentations on to your itunes and use it to review your class material! And from personal experience, it’s less clunky than watching a movie on your laptop and the battery life is way better.

I also discovered an interesting and untapped demographic: senior citizens. I showed the unit to my 86 year old grandfather and he loved it so much he almost wouldn’t give it back! The screen allowed him to view content without having to squint and ear buds let him listen at volume 1000 without driving the rest of us up a wall.

All in all, a very solid effort by MyVu, and I’m really excited to see what they come up with next! I can’t wait to get a pair!


Technical Specs:
Product Classification: Binocular Head Mounted Video Display Mechanical:
Battery: Rechargeable Lithium Polymer
Battery Operation Time: 4 Hours Headset Weight: 82 grams
Battery Charging: USB Mini Connection Cable, 5 Volts/350 mA Headset Temples: Foldable, with Spring Extension
Charging Time: 4.5 Hour Fast Charge Cable Clasp: Magnetic Neck Cable Clasp Included
12 Hour USB Charge Nosepiece: Adjustable
Earphones: In-Ear, Ultimate Ears Earphones, Three Insert Sizes
Display: Operating Temperature: 0 degrees Celsius – 40 degrees Celsius
Optical System: V3 SolidOptex® Electrical:
Display Resolution: 640 x 480 (VGA)
Color Depth: 24 bit Color A/V Input Connector: 3.5 mm A/V Jack
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Video Input: Composite Video, NTSC/PAL
Field of View: 22.5 degrees Diagonal Audio Input: Stereo Line Audio or Headphone Audio Input
Eye Relief: 20 mm Video Controls: Brightness, Contrast
Display Technology: Transmissive LCD MicroDisplay Audio Controls: Volume
Nominal IPD Accomodation: 63.5 mm
Display Focal Distance: 2 meters Other:
Prescription Correction: Available Prescription Correction Clip-On Lens

Comments: 1

  • Adam Montandon

    July 30, 2008

    Can I use these glasses to view your appearance on CTV?

    Thats got to be worth a blog entry.

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