So Sony’s launching a new 3D head-mounted display, which looks like a pair of goggles you could sit a couple action figures in and take for a pretend Jetson-style spin. Ugly? Check. Cumbersome? Check. Potentially deadly if worn while ambling across the room to pluck an adult beverage from the fridge? Check.
Didn’t we used to call this stuff virtual reality? Oh who cares. We also used to call 3D eyewear the Viewmaster. It’s the same idea, right? Send two slightly different views of the same image to each eye, creating a stereoscopic effect (the fancy term for deuce images), convincing our brains the image in question has width, height and depth.
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Sony’s new take is called the HMZ-T1, or “Personal 3D Viewer,” weighs 420 grams, packs twin 0.7-inch high-definition 1280 x 720 OLED screens (akin to eyeballing a 750-inch movie screen, says Sony), supports up to 45 degrees of tilt and you…won’t be able to get your hands on one in November unless you live in Japan. That’s where it’s launching November 11 for 60,000 yen ($783 USD).
It even has inbuilt headphones that support 5.1 surround playback and they wrap around your face like Geordi La Forge’s banana-clip visor (except fatter) to fully cover your ears. It has an HDMI port, so you can plug in pretty much anything that supports the connector, from console video game systems to Blu-ray players to Macs and PCs.
“The hardest part for us was to make it as small-sized as possible, while maintaining high definition, but we succeeded,” Sony vice president Shigeru Kato told Reuters. “People can enjoy watching a favourite movie or play a videogame on their own without bothering other family members.”
No bother at all, Sony, except for the part where clamping clunky tech-ware on our faces has kind of been a nonstarter for decades.