New video glasses for iPod: myvu's very coolDecember 8, 2006: 10:13 AM ET
You'll look a little like an alien wearing it, or like Cyclops, that X-Men character – so you might think twice before donning MicroOptical's myvu Personal Media Viewer ($299) in public. (I actually found myself more tempted to wear the video glasses in a dark room at home than on the train.) But the myvu is undoubtedly the coolest iPod accessory you'll find this season, however indulgent it might be.
It's just one of those items that will bring out the kid in just about any gadget lover.
Affordable video glasses are one of those dream products that until now have remained beyond the grasp of gadget geeks. I remember having a set of film glasses in the late '70s that covered half your face and showed scenes from Star Wars and the Six-Million-Dollar-Man if you cranked the side-mounted knob fast enough; we would try to crank it extra fast so the presentation would look less like a slide show and more like a film. Wouldn't it be cool if you could watch a whole movie like that? Back then we had to settle for sitting too close to the TV in a dark room.
No longer. MicroOptical's myvu offers the video glasses we dreamed of, in a deceptively simple package. They're short and wide, enabling you to wear them in public without blocking your view of what's happening around you. It's easy to wear the myvu viewer like bifocals, and glance at TV while you're doing something else. So while you'll look pretty silly wearing the myvu on the street, or multitasking with it on, you're completely free to try.
The out-of-box experience is great; I had the glasses on and working within five minutes of cracking the package open. (I'll keep calling them glasses here, even though you don't actually look through them; they're more of a wearable display.)
Inside, the first thing you see is the "quick start guide" that offers five easy steps to setting up the viewer. The directions are so easy, you almost don't need them. The most critical part is the instructions for setting the iPod to "TV Out," so that the video will appear on the viewer rather than the iPod screen.
Beneath the "quick start guide" is the protective carrying case for the myvu. Open it and on either side are the iPod pack and the myvu glasses.
Once you've got everything out of its packaging, it's a simple matter of plugging the battery pack into a wall to charge it.
Once the myvu was charged, and the iPod was set to TV Out, everything was easy. The earplugs fit snugly, though it should be noted that because these actually fit into your ears, you'll want to resist the temptation to hand the myvu to your best friend and say "Hey, check this out!" (I did hand it to a couple of my best friends, but I also said, "Yeah, maybe don't put those in your ears, though. That would be gross.")
If you're in a bright room, your first impression of the myvu's picture might be that it's nice, but it's small. I found after a few tries that this is mainly because you've got light coming in from outside the glasses. Try them in a darkened room for more of the theater experience, and you'll feel enveloped.
In all, a nice experience – especially since the battery pack gives about three hours of video viewing time, which I found to be more than adequate.
If you're interested in purchasing a pair, see the link here.