MyVu: video glasses make a comeback

Forget about straining your eyes trying to watch movies on your Apple iPod or mobile phone during a long-haul flight. You're more likely to get a headache than a great movie experience.

Video glasses

Instead, MyVu has come up with a light-weight eyewear video display - basically a pair of glasses with a patented optical technology called SolidOptex built in. You wear the glasses, as you would any normal pair, and plug in the integrated, noise-reducing earphones. Then you're ready to watch handsfree video.

"The MyVu eyewear makes it possible to keep on doing what you were doing - eating, drinking, typing or whatever - and watch a film at the same time. It really gives you functional mobility," Dan Cui, vice president of sales at MyVu, told us at a private demo in London this afternoon.

The MyVu viewer takes the output signal from a video device and projects a floating image that you can see around. The eyewear has been certified by the American Optometric Association to be no more harmful than watching TV at a safe distance, equivalent to stress levels induced when watching TV for eight hours. If you normally wear glasses, you can buy a clip-on lens made to suit your prescription.

Designed for iPod

Two versions are available - the MyVu Solo Plus works with Apple iPod models only; and the MyVu Universal Edition works with other digital video players, mobile phones, DVD players and camcorders. MyVu said the latter model is the smallest, lightest eyewear display available today.

Using MyVu with a mobile phone, you can also see your emails, documents and other data onscreen in front of you, rather than on the handset.

The rechargeable battery offers up to four hours of viewing time, after which you can charge the MyVu up via USB or through mains power.

The MyVu will be available within the next week from the Apple Store. No UK price has been confirmed but the European price is set at 199 euros (around £140). Future models include eyewear displays looking more like normal sunglasses, as well as screen-less DVD players. These will be showed off at CES 2008 in Las Vegas in January.