Vuzix IWear 720 VR headset unveiled at GDC: Now part of the OSVR family

Over 50 partners now on board the Razer powered open source platform
Vuzix IWear 720 VR unveiled

Vuzix has unveiled the IWear 720 headset over at GDC 2015 in San Francisco. Described as "video headphones" by its makers, the IWear 720 is designed to handle anything from VR gaming to 3D movies; putting the equivalent of a 130-inch display in front of a wearer's eyes.

The company, which is partly owned by Intel, has predominately specialised in smartglasses until now, making the IWear 720s Vuzix's first foray into VR tech.

Essential reading: Best VR headsets

The screen's resolution is twin 1280 x 720 panels, or 720p for each eye. That's just behind Oculus, which offers 1080 x 960 on the Rift. Elsewhere there's a rather mediocre 60Hz refresh rate and 57 degree diagonal FOV.

However, unlike the HTC Vive SteamVR system we saw at MWC, the Vuzix system isn't designed to create another walled garden. It's designed to be open source, and will connect to any PC, TV or console via HDMI, enabling you to watch 2D and 3D content and support VR. What's more, it even has a pair of lenses, which would enable it to support AR technology in the future.

Vuzix has teamed up with the Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR), a collaboration of tech companies striving for open standards in virtual reality technology. Its the platform championed by Razer, which showed off its OSVR development headset at CES 2015.

OSVR: Everything you need to know about Razer's VR platform

The IWear 720 will also pack support for Unity 3D and Unreal engine games as well, the OSVR initiative announced this week that there are now more than 50 partners on board.

"The IWear 720 is ready to be the most compatible VR and entertainment headset in the market thanks to supporting connectivity and content on almost any device that support HDMI outputs," said Paul Travers, president and CEO at Vuzix.

"The collaboration with OSVR opens this up further and brings an excellent ecosystem that standardises interfaces between devices and adds VR support for our products from a growing list of exciting new applications," he continued.

See also: Sony Project Morpheus launching 2016

Across the VR world, battle lines are being drawn. Oculus, Sony, Samsung, Valve and Microsoft are all making small in-roads into realising VR technology into a consumer product, but it's far from clear how these will work in reality.

OSVR may well provide the keys for developers to unlock the potential that VR alludes too.

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