Sony today confirmed it will launch its futuristic head-mounted display across Japan in a matter of weeks.
The device, at the moment only known as HMZ-T1, will be at the mercy of public reception come November. Failure to sell to enough homes would add it to the list of failed innovative products, but success could usher in a new era of rich stereoscopic 3D.
One issue will be price. The display will sell for ¥60,000, about the equivalent of $800 and £500.
However, its central selling point is its simplicity. Outside the cinema, stereoscopic 3D has struggled to sell as a communal, living-room device. How many £99 shutter glasses a customer should buy with a 3DTV is just one point of friction to sale.
Another is the need for the correct set-top box, the correct channel subscriptions, the correct Blu-ray player, wired together in the correct manner.
The HMZ-T1 largely eliminates that conundrum by being an out-of-the box solution, albeit a solitary one. As shown above, its pair of 0.7-inch OLED panels are held up against each eye and create a far more advanced 3D picture.
But there is still some necessary friction – the device needs to be tether to a processing unit, shown above, which will feed the image data into the headset.
Sony claims the experience is in scale to watching a 750-inch screen from a distance of 20 metres. Both panels boast a resolution of 1280x720, and the set itself offers integrated “5.1 surround sound” headphones, Sony said.
HMZ-T1 will launch in Japan on November 11.