If I offered to put an LCD screen centimetres from your face, you’d probably punch me in mine. Enter Vuzix, a company that makes its trade on doing just the. The difference, however, is that the company uses specialist glasses with high-density screens to give the illusion of distance. And now, with the Wrap Tracker 6TC add-on, the goggles lets you move the images on the screen as you move your head.
The video eyewear, the Wrap 920, is the basic product. Two screens, two noise isolation earphones (in three sizes) are mounted into a set of glasses that black your senses from the outside world. You’re then immersed in a world of stereo sound and simulated 67-inch screens, where gaming comes alive.
The company states that Wrap 920 makes you feel like you’re watching a huge screen TV from three metres away, which sounds great. The issue, however, is that those two LCD displays are only 640 x 480. This is super-high resolution for their size, but it means there’s potential for low-picture quality and certainly not HD performance.
The battery life is also a bit of a pain – a paltry three hours from 2 AA batteries. On the plus side, at least this limitation will cut down gaming sessions to a mroe health- and safety-friendly period of time (which is around an hour).
The Wrap Tracker 6TC is the real innovation. Once plugged in (it comes as a cute little chip), the assorted magneto-resistive sensors, accelerometers and gyro offer highly accurate head tracking. For gamers, this means:
“The Wrap 920 VR bundle adds a unique 3D ‘in game’ element for PC gamers. When you hear the enemy coming up behind you, the ability to physically turn your head and view them or to be able to view the complete landscape of the game play zone offers the player a unique advantage over their game opponents.” – Paul Travers, Vuzix CEO
The Tracker 6TC is compatible with over 100 popular PC games, including Batman: Arkham Asylum, Call of Duty, GRID and World of Warcraft. More can be found at the company’s website: www.vuzix.com/UKSITE/consumer/products_vr920_support.html.
The ability to turn your head to change the view in-game is a level of immersion that just isn’t possible with any other technology on the market. With the addition of the sound-isolating headphones, you’re able to totally leave the real world behind as you explore fantastic lands. As long as you can use a keyboard and mouse without seeing them.