Review of Icuiti iWear 

Monitors

The Good The icuiti iWear gives the illusion of viewing a large screen from afar, which helps with eye fatigue when watching videos on low-resolution LCDs. Focusing pens on each eye allow people with low vision to use iWear. You can listen through your own headphones while using the glasses, and there is one version for the iPod and the other for the other personal video players (PVP).

The Bad Icuiti iWear is expensive and inconvenient, and the video quality is poor. Most users will have extreme difficulty installing the headphones properly. Optional accessories such as a charging cable are not included in the iPod version.

The Bottom Line You better watch the screen on iPod or PVP than invest in Icuiti iWear. Wait for the next generation with improved video comfort and quality.

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3.0 Overall

  • Design
    2
  • Features
    4
  • Performance
    3

Video glasses are not a new concept at all, and although the early models were not very attractive, they did a good job of offering a portable personalized video viewing experience. However, accessory glasses made for iPods and other personal video players (PVPs) have largely failed. Unfortunately, the Icuiti iWear, available in an iPod-specific taste and more versatile version of PVP (AV230), does not improve the situation. The $ 250 accessory suffers from awkward design and poor video quality. In fact, it is very bad, because the illusion of watching videos on a large screen from afar can reduce eye strain.

Compare

Icuiti iWear

Dell UltraSharp 27 (U2717D)

Samsung CF791

Razer Raptor 27

Acer Predator XB272

Design 2 8 9 7.8 8
Features 4 7 8 8.3 8
Performance 3 8 8 8.2 8
Overall 3.0 7.8 8.3 8.2 8.0
Price $275 Walmart $700 Razer $420 Walmart

IWear fails first and foremost in its design. Although the glasses weigh a reasonable 4 ounces, it’s noticeably heavier than its closest competitor – MyVu PMV – which comes in at 2.5 ounces. It may not sound like that, but 1.5 ounces matters when something is propped up on your face. IWear feels heavy when worn, and since the weight is centered in the front, it tends to slide down the nose, which is generally quite uncomfortable. Another annoying design choice is the built-in headphones, which are rigid and difficult to adjust. No one in the CNET office could hold the ear pins so they would not often pop out of their ears, and I couldn’t even get them to their ears, with the viewing section slid to the eye (which is necessary for proper viewing). One compensating virtue is that iWear can be used with other headphones that you leave connected to your iPod or PVP.

Another positive feature of the design is the inclusion of iWear adjusting knobs under each eye screen. This allows users with impaired vision to tailor the video to their needs – a nice touch we haven’t seen on MyVu PMV. The textured rubber nosepiece is also well made and comfortable enough – if not for the weight of the unit, this would probably do well to keep the glasses in place. Leaving the left armature is the ultimate physical feature of the device: a 41-inch cable that ends with a simple iPod adapter (or, in the case of the AV230, a 3.5mm audio connection). On one side of the adapter is a standard mini-USB port that is used to charge the device and iPod (if supplied). However, unfortunately the Icuiti does not include a simple USB charging cable. Of course, you probably have one camera or another device, but this $ 250 shortfall is justified. On the other hand, the AV230 includes a USB cable as well as a wall-mounted wart adapter and an AV adapter cable.

Of course, I can forgive the slight omission of the cord – though it may not be a discomfort – if iWear offered stellar video quality. However, video playback tests were far from standard. The device gives the illusion of viewing a 44-inch screen 9 feet away, but it doesn’t look good – certainly not as good as simply viewing an iPod screen. First, the right side is noticeably darker than the left side, giving the same impression as a screen with a really weak viewing angle on one side. That is, details are lost, and one side of the image looks dark and uncertain. Also, the video looks clean in general, and it’s not as sharp as you’d like. Top up: iWear just isn’t worth it.

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