[opendtv] A New Prescription For Watching iPod Video

  • From: Monty Solomon <monty@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: undisclosed-recipient:;
  • Date: Sun, 31 Dec 2006 11:51:49 -0500

December 27, 2006
A New Prescription
For Watching iPod Video

By Walter S. Mossberg and Katherine Boehret

When Apple Computer Inc. introduced its iPod with video in October 
2005, users started looking at the popular portable music player in a 
new light. Its first purpose -- playing music -- still took 
precedence, but its larger screen and video-playback capabilities 
suddenly made it visually entertaining, as well.

Last September, Apple upped the ante by adding downloadable movies to 
its iTunes Store and releasing a new iPod with a brighter screen and 
longer video battery life. But the fact remains: watching movies or 
videos is most naturally done while looking up and out, as with a 
television set or in a movie theater, not by looking down at a little 
screen in your hand.

This week, we tested one of the geekiest gadgets we've seen in a long 
time: the $300 Myvu by MicroOptical Corp., www.myvu.com, which looks 
like a pair of futuristic sunglasses with built-in earbuds. Myvu 
attaches to your iPod, and when you look through its lenses, it 
displays your iPod's videos on a built-in screen with optics that 
create the illusion of watching a television set from across the 
room; the earbuds provide accompanying audio. It also comes in a 
universal version that works with other gadgets, rather than just 
with the iPod.

We tested the iPod-specific version and wore the Myvu to watch 
various types of videos, including music videos, television shows and 
movies. Overall, it's a pretty cool device, with a good-looking 
visual illusion that MicroOptical says is comparable to watching a 
27-inch screen from six feet away. It would certainly come in handy 
on a long flight. But you'll scare yourself if you look in the 
mirror. We can't imagine wearing one while walking down the street, 
even though it's designed to enable seeing above and below the bar of 
space where its screen appears.



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