How Video Glasses Work

Using Video Glasses

Advertisments tout that video glasses are perfect for long plane rides. This guy sure seems to be enjoying them.
Advertisments tout that video glasses are perfect for long plane rides. This guy sure seems to be enjoying them.
Image courtesy Vuzix

Video glasses can connect to a variety of different media gadgets. Not only can many connect to video iPods and cell phones (which makes them handy travel gadgets), but some also connect to DVD players, game consoles or even video camcorders.

­If your vision isn't perfect and you need to use corrective lenses, don't despair: You can still use video glasses. Some manufacturers offer special accessory frames that your eye doctor can equip with clip-on prescription lenses [source: Myvu].

Some reviewers complain that the general experience of using video glasses isn't as fun as it sounds. Users can suffer from eye strain or even dizziness during viewing. Some call this cyber stress, and it can have a variety of causes. For instance, unless the placement of the lenses properly fits your face, your eyes will tire quickly from the hard work of focusing on the image [source: Lubell]. This is why some developers are trying to make video glasses that adjust to a user's individual interpupillary distance (the distance between the eyes). Sometimes dizziness results from the complete immersion experience. For this reason, some may prefer nonimmersive glasses. Others complain that the particular earbuds and nose bridges that come with individual headsets are uncomfortable.

Perhaps once developers get these kinks ironed out, video glasses will become more popular as personal escape measures for people to put on when they travel. Some might be skeptical and argue that video glasses are impractical novelty items. Although this might be true of movie glasses, head-mounted displays (HMDs) in general have already proven useful in practical applications.

Some dentists actually offer their patients video glasses. These dentists have found that the glasses are effective at distracting patients from the tortures of the chair. Video glasses are good stress relievers, and they don't get in the way of the dentist's work like some other personal electronic devices might. Perhaps the most useful applications of HMDs come from another use in the medical field. Surgeons can use nonimmersive HMDs when they need to watch a screen of radiographic data while performing an operation. The military has also adopted the technology for a few uses. Augmented reality achieved with immersive HMDs allows the military to train soldiers. And in the field, the military can use nonimmersive HMDs to overlay maps or other important data onto a real-world view [source: Tang].

So regardless of their success in the portable entertainment field, video glasses already have important roles in other respects.

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