First look: Vuzix V720 HMD

Virtual reality is becoming, well, a reality. Earlier this week we saw the mark two version of Oculus Rift and we ran in place on the Virtuix Omni. Not to be left out, Vuzix showed off its personal media player, the V720.

As denoted from the name V720, it's a 720p head mounted display for viewing 3D movies in your own personal theater. The display was on show as an early demo unit alongside an industrial design mockup of the display and headphone combo that Vuzix hopes to start selling this summer.

Ever the technologists, we decided to stroll over soon after checking out the Vuzix M100 to see what sort of visuals the V720 could display.

The mini movie theater

Like many HMDs we've seen before, the display unit consists of two LCD screens for the viewer's left and right eyes. Combining the screens allows the user to see one single 16:9 widescreen 3D picture.

A Vuzix rep told us the V720 was designed in such a way to emulate looking at a 75-inch screen from 20-meters away. The actual picture we saw was large, crisp, and clear with a good deal of depth to boot.

The V720 does not use any type of film or active shutter technology to create the 3D effect. Instead it uses software to calculate the depth effect, so at least, it seems 3D inclusion won't be a detriment the brightness and clarity of 2D footage.

While the picture was clear, it was also plainly visible where the frame ended as a black rectangle surrounded the picture. If anything looking into the Vuzix V700 was like seating our eyeballs into a mini movie theater, which may irk some used to the vision enveloping screens seen on the Oculus Rift.

Vuzix also plans to sell the V720 with a built in pair of noise-cancelling stereo headphones. There's nothing to write to home about here audiophiles, it's just the basic 2.1 setup.

Future plans

On top of viewing entertainment, Vuzix is looking into developing a V720 into a smart device with Android KitKat built in. At the show, the V720 was set up connected to display media over HDMI, which could make it perfect for connecting with other types of devices like the Xbox One and MHL connected smartphones.

The company claims the final version will come with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for wireless video and audio streaming. It will also arrive with a 1080p camera for augmented reality purposes, but Vuzix wasn't ready to say what it had in mind.

Vuzix shared that its V720 HMD will likely sell at $599 and is slated to start shipping worldwide later this year closer to the summer season.

Very early verdict

It's too early to say if the Vuzix V720 with our only impressions coming from a demo reel of Avatar and little to no specs on the screen themselves. But, looking into the screens and hearing about Vuzix's future plans, it seems like something to keep in mind for the future. As always stay tuned to TechRadar as well update our impressions as we check out new and more finished versions of the V720.

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.