The Stuff offices are generally a landing ground for some of the more unusual aspects of technology and this particular product is one of the weirder items that we’ve encountered. But even that’s not as weird as the fact that we’ve seen items like this before. The iCinema M200 video glasses do just what it says on the box, they fit you like glasses and you can use them to watch movies. Or series or anime or anything else involving actors and a digital file.
The glasses themselves look like a slightly bulky but vertically compressed set of sunglasses from the front, it’s only once you see them from above or the rear that you realise that anyone peering through those is looking at imaginary worlds that spring forth from Hollywood (and similar locations). The whole setup, including cables and charging gear, is presented in a crush-proof case that brings to mind something that your PSP would live in.
There are dual displays tucked away in the glasses that mimic a 98-inch display, if you were sitting a respectable distance from one, and those two screens are in 720p. Oh, and they’re also capable of showing 3D video to the wearer. Yes, really. Audio is taken care of by two headphones that are wired into the bows of the glasses and there’s a storage and USB connection port situated just above where the glasses rest on your nose.
The iCinema M200s are, in practise, quite easy to use. A USB cable allows you to load up to 8GB of digital media to the glasses and there’s space for a further 32GB if you slip in an SD card. The file system is very simple to use, as are the 3D features, and the only negative there is that there doesn’t appear to be a way to fast forward a given video clip. But you can carry around the whole of Breaking Bad and the means to watch it in your pocket if you feel like it. Video is impressive enough though, like other products of its type, it doesn’t play too nicely with those members of the population that require actual glasses. Still, they’re fairly comfortable to wear on top of a pair of specs.
Here’s where things get a little less pleasant though. The M200s have a three to four hour battery life, meaning that you’ll be able to watch perhaps two full length films before looking for an alternate source of power. This makes the iCinema glasses less than idea for a longer plane trip. These glasses would probably find more use in areas where one is regularly commuting by bus or train.
The other aspect of the iCinema M200 glasses that is troubling is that users will be cutting themselves off from the world while using them. That’s not a problem in some situations but they’re probably going to see occasional use at best, unless they are used to keep a child in the back seat silent on a lengthy car trip. Even then, the M200s are a bit too pricey to get one for the whole family unless you’re feeling particularly flush with cash.
The M200 glasses are probably the best implementation of the whole video glasses idea we’ve seen in person to date, though there are some very interesting technologies in the works that will make them a bit nervous. But we’re at a bit of a loss to find a constant use for them that can’t be met by a portable media player that more than one person can use. If you’re anti-social at times or spend a lot of time being driven around to various destinations however, there are worse ways to get your entertainment on the go.