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Sony's 3D Headgear: Appealing to Your Inner Cyborg

8/31/2011 12:26 PM

Do you love 3D television — and you’re not afraid to look like an antisocial mega-geek at a Trekkie convention?

Sony’s new head-mounted 3D display could be right up your alley.

hmz-t1.jpg

The Sony Personal 3D Viewer HMZ-T1, to go on sale in Japan in November for 60,000 yen ($800) followed by the U.S. and other regions, provides the equivalent of a 750-inch screen with a 1280-by-720 high-definition OLED wraparound display.

The headgear uses a “dual-panel 3D method” with separate panels for the left and right eye, to display independent HD picture quality to each eye. It’s also designed to cover the maximum possible field of vision — approximately 200 degrees — surpassing the video viewing range of 45 degrees. A “shade plate” in the device blocks out light from below, “which further enhances the feeling of immersion for the viewer,” Sony says.

Sony demonstrated the visor-like 3D head attachment at 2011 CES in January. The device uses a separate processor unit with an HDMI output.

But given the tepid response to 3D television, is there much demand for an $800 personal stereoscopic device that (let’s be honest) looks kind of silly?

As the AP noted in its dispatch today, “It seems unlikely that most people — or even technology enthusiasts — will want to buy a product that involves sitting alone and wearing a little helmet.”

Who knows: Maybe it will find a niche among transoceanic travelers, who aren’t shy about wearing those huge honkin’ noise-canceling earphones anyway.

As we’ve seen with other 3D products (see Warning! Watching 3DTV Could ‘Cause You to Crush a Nearby Object’), Sony provides some health warnings for the product: “Considering the protection of the growth and development, we ask children (age 15 and younger) to refrain from using this product.” The company also advises people with a propensity for motion sickness to not use the head-mounted 3D display.

Here’s a video showing the head-mounted display in action — or, more accurately, a video implying what the experience is like:

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