Hands On: Sony's HMZ-T1 Is An Amazing OLED 3DTV That You Wear On Your Head

Sony's new 720p OLED 3DTV with 5.1 virtual surround is the equivalent of a 150-inch screen and costs $US800. But it weighs less 500g. That's because it's worn on your face. It looks crazynerdo; you're going to want one.

Personal TVs are uniformly dorky. I've tried several, and all — I mean all of them — are the kind of horrible experience that makes you think the future is a very asinine place. To date, other than watching hard core pornography on an aeroplane, I've not yet seen a compelling use case for wearable televisions. And then I tried on the HMZ-T1.

Not only did this sell me on the concept of wearable TV, it was one of my better experiences with 3DTV which I've likewise been sceptical of. There was a simple reason for both of these things: This was one of the more immersive entertainment experiences I've yet had. When I tried playing Gran Turismo, I found myself pivoting my head to look left and right although that has no effect on the display (of course). It was just a natural reaction. I felt like I was in the driver's seat of a car, and was scanning the road as I normally would. When we popped in a 3D movie, I actually ducked a bit as a shark swam overhead.

The picture is solid as well. Although tiny, the eye-sized display appears to be 150 inches. Because there are two distinct displays, one for each eye, there is no crosstalk, and of course, no need for active shutter glasses. They're rather awkward going on, but you quickly forget you're wearing them, or at least I did.

It will be available in October, and we'll have a full test before it goes on sale.

The big downside? These suckers cost $US800. That's a pretty massive price tag. Yeah, Sony's got its cool back, but can anyone afford it?


Comments

    I am very interested in this technology. Could change home gaming and movies for the better.

    okay, from yesterday, seeing this and going "meh", I am now very seriously interested. From my point of view when I stay up late watching movies but cant have it up too loud so as to not wake up my family, it kinda pisses me off. This could solve that problem as well as enhance it to ridiculously immersive proportions. Hmmmmmmmm.......

    $800? Pfft, I paid more than that for my TV, my computer monitor and my projector - sign me up!

      My thought exactly. I paid ~$1500 for a 32" (full HD, but whatever) TV last year. My big problem with big displays is that they take up a lot of prominent space for the amount of time that you actually use them: unlike a fridge that works non-stop or a washing machine that stays in the laundry.

      If this "Personal TV" can be worn for 2+ hours on end, and I can give it a try before I buy, count me in!

    ever since the Lawnmower Man, I've been waiting with anticipation over some kind of home Virtual Reality headsets to hit the market. Could this be the beginning of a revolution in movie and game viewing? Bloody hell, I hope so.

    *PleaseBeGoodPleaseBeGoodPleaseBeGoodPleaseBeGoodPleaseBeGood*

    If only it came with a gyro so that then you turn your head in GT5, it actually changes the view.

      Easy mod ;) an arduino hooked up to the gyro and imitating mouse input would be easy as.
      Downside would be your neck'd get tired pretty quick.

        Even easier would be to attach a TrackIR device. Look for it on google. It would turn this wonderful gadget in a Virtual Reality HMD :)

    Why no 1080P?

      Because the fact that they were able to fit a 1280x720 resolution on such small screens is awesome in itself. 1080p will likely come later.

      And seriously, this price is great - $800 for what's basically a portable OLED cinema with perfect, real 3D? Bargain as far as I'm concerned. Yes, theres the drawback that only one person can use it at a time but still...

    with a gyro like jamie said - this could be a controller for a PS4? imagine real VR!!

      http://www.naturalpoint.com/trackir/

      Just add this and your done! VR HDM!

    My concern, as always with all the different VR releases over the years, is about the potential damage to the eyes. Hopefully they've done a lot of testing in this regard and can back up the device with some facts on how long you could wear it before damaging your eyes in a single session.

      @light487, well, I think this can be done without harming your eyes. The problem is that using real-time apps like games with a gyro etc. would mess with your hand-eye coordination. that's why home VR never caught on. The manufacturers are too worried about being sued. but for sitting watching a movie, a couple of hours at a time should be okay.

    OK I'm interested in how the eyes focus on something like this - just talking 2D, do the eyes have to focus as if they were reading a book? It's bad enough being on a computer all day, I want my eyes to be focussing on something further away for any length of time.

    Just watch out for the DRM - it's Sony, check the small print.

    "On first use the helmet drills a hole in your forehead and implants a small chip. It then checks for the presence of this chip in future uses. The purchaser can licence (up to) three users through this system. For additional licences, please contact our Corporate Sales Team."

    Simple question: how do you change channels/operate the remote with your eyes tied up with the screen?

    Can two people watch a movie together? Head set each, but only one Blu-Ray player?
    Or would I have to double up on everything?

      I really wanna know about that too :|
      The PassTrough box should have at least 1 hdmi in and at least 2 HMD out, and an option to buy just the HMD without the PassTrough box.

    Add the Australia screw you tax and it won't be a good price. Looks too much like a gimmick and will be useless for gaming when you can't even see a controller in your hands.
    3D with glasses is whats holding 3D back, as well as the gimmicky movies that are being released, so why make the glasses even bigger LOL? just for 1 person to watch something.

      wow... u really need to see the controller to know what button you're pressing? that's a bit like saying i need to keep my eyes on what pedal/gear i'm using in the car. Better keep your eyes on the road/screen instead.

    This will be so awesome for long trips, can't wait for the price to come down!

    It will change the social dynamic of the TV experience as well. Sure it will be fine for gaming but watching TV with the family would certainly not be the same. It will make it a completely insular experience.. much like the transition between boomboxes and walkmans.

    These will be good for traveling! Hell yeah! Shame they look a pretty out there, hopefully it's for extra battery life or something.

    This is awesome, and I can't wait to get my hands on one! Let's just hope it gets released Down Under (Australia)...

    Having stereoscopic monitors should perspectively speaking trick the brain into thinking that it's seeing a 3D image, just like the old Viewmaster slide viewers of the '70s. This is something that I've been waiting for since then. To be able to watch my movie and TV library in 3D will be a dream come true. So what if only ONE person can use it at a time. THAT'S what it's designed for! That's why it's a PERSONAL 3D viewer. I agree with Moloko, Howards' Screw You tax will drive up the price, however, if the unit is capable of what Sony claims it is then it will still be worth while. Pity the 5.1 surround sound isn't TRUE surround, i.e.- individaul speakers built into the headset. But, something is better than nothing. Can't wait to see the battle between the Enterprise and the Reliant in "Star Trek II- The Wrath Of Khan" in 3D. Should be TOTALLY AWESOME!!!

    Ill pay $1000 Aus right now for one Sony just tell me where to go to purchase.

    when i get to plug this into my laptop or other hand held device using less power than the native however many inches display, ill be impressed, but even so, id be happy to use this to replace, if not suppliment my existing display. I can only imagine the awesome experience this could bring to wii/xbox/ps3 with the appropriate software and input device

      Like child of eden move games? Immersion is the name of the game huh? Can't wait!!

    Why can’t they just bring these out for a more realistic price of around $300 us dollars instead. The tec is not that new, the only thing different with this is the 720p, this is great to see but the price will stop it from ever getting off the ground, just like all the others that have come and gone.

    If it does what it promises i'd glady pay up to 1k for one, even with Juliar Giraffes "screw everyone" tax.

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