Video eyewear specialists Vuzix have revealed a brand new model of augmented reality eyewear, the STAR 1200XL. These bad boys are looking very futuristic, and we can’t wait to try them out and pretend we’re in TRON or something.
The STAR 1200 XL model builds on last year’s Star 1200, offering a broader field of vision and improved visuals. For those who haven’t taken a look at Vuzix’s STAR models before, they use a front-facing camera to feed what’s in front of you to a pair of LCD displays that sit just in front of your eyes. When viewing them, the screens combine in to one giant display, and just about anything can be added as an augmented reality layer by connecting the eyewear to a PC.
The LCD displays on the new STAR 1200 XL run at a WVGA resolution of 852 x 480 pixels each, and combine to give the effect of a very large TV screen just a few feet away from you.
On the front of the eyewear Vuzix has mounted a webcam, which will deliver a Wide Field of View with a 35-degree angle to the LCD displays. The camera is based on Logitech’s C920 webcam, and records video in Full HD 1080p quality.
Vuzix also provides a more compact camera which although offers a lower quality of video (1600 x 1200 @ 5-7 fps), is around a quarter of the size and weight of the Logitech camera.
Unlike the Wrap models in Vuzix’s range, the lenses in the STAR 1200XL are completely clear, allowing the user to walk around without running the risk of walking in to anything. Vuzix utilises this sort of design in its professional-grade eyewear, which the military have been using for several years.
Augmented reality is usually better when you can control the view or the person you are playing, if it’s a game. A 6-DoF (Degrees of Freedom) tracker is built in to the STAR 1200 XL, meaning that you’ll be able to move your head in real life and have the movements replicated in any AR software running from a connected PC.
Make no mistake, this model is a serious piece of kit and is aimed at developers who want to create augmented reality programs. At the moment they’re available to pre-order for $4,999 in the US, and will cost £3699.99 or €4699.99 when available to pre-order in the UK and Europe.