Sony's head-mounted 3D visor is real, HMZ-T1 arrives in Japan November 11th

Remember that crazy wearable 3D display concept Sony was showing off at CES 2011? Turns out the company is actually going to make it, and the HMZ-T1 is scheduled to be released in Japan on November 11th. While the design has changed slightly since we first laid our eyes, and heads, on it, the specs appear to be the same, with two 1280x720 0.7-inch OLED panels mounted in front of each eye giving the wearer an experience similar to viewing a 750-inch screen from 20m away, as well as 5.1 surround sound from headphones integrated into the Head Mounted Display (HMD). You can see the helmet above, as well as the processor unit (complete with HDMI input and output, so you can take off the helmet and watch on TV) that it must remain tethered to. Pricing is expected to be 60,000 yen ($783 US). Check out the press release and our hands-on video from CES after the break and decide if living out a Geordi La Forge-style fantasy is worth it.

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Introducing World's First*1 3D Compatible Head Mounted Display Equipped With High Definition OLED Panel
- Offering a new 3D-viewing style with movie theater-like virtual screen*2 experience -

Head Mounted Display "Personal 3D Viewer" (HMZ-T1)

Head Mounted Display "Personal 3D Viewer" (HMZ-T1)

Tokyo, Japan - August 31, 2011 - Sony Corporation ("Sony") today announced the launch of Head Mounted Display "Personal 3D Viewer" 'HMZ-T1', a device that offers a spectacular new style for viewing both 2D and 3D content. Simply slip the device onto your head to experience the movie theater-like virtual screen (equivalent to a 750-inch screen*2) expand before your eyes.*3

It is equipped with the newly-developed 0.7-inch (diagonal 18.0mm) high definition OLED panel (1280 x 720), which have been realized through Sony's unique expertise in both OLED display and semiconductor silicon drive technologies. The 'HMZ-T1' achieves HD picture quality that makes full use of the OLED display's high contrast, color reproducibility, and fast response. In addition, the device adopts the 'Dual Panel 3D Method' which consists of separate panels for the left and right eye in order to display independent HD picture quality to each eye, which realize 3D vision. The viewer can enjoy natural and bright 3D picture quality that is crosstalk-free. Furthermore, we have achieved a wide horizontal viewing angle of 45 degrees by incorporating an optical lens that thoroughly suppresses unwanted elements such as aberration and distortion. Viewers can now enjoy watching video on a movie theater-like big-screen (750-inch virtual screen, virtual viewing distance approx. 20m)*2. Sony has also adopted its original virtual surround signal processing technology. Combined with the high-resolution 3D picture quality, viewers will be able to fully enjoy powerful acoustics equivalent to a maximum of 5.1ch through the left and right headphones alone.

Sony group has offered a wide range of 3D products and 3D content production systems, from industrial 3D filming and editing equipment and movie theater systems through to its "BRAVIA" LCD TVs, home projectors, Blu-ray™ Disc devices, Personal Computer VAIO and "PlayStation 3" while its "Handycam" and "Cyber-shot" cameras even enable people to film 3D video themselves. And now, this new 3D viewing style provided by 'HMZ-T1' will enable users to enjoy the movie theater-like experience whilst relaxing on their living room sofa, thus further expanding Sony's 3D world.

Main Features

The high definition OLED panel delivers HD picture quality.
The 'Dual Panel 3D Method' delivers natural and bright 3D picture quality that is crosstalk-free.
Optical lens which realize wide 45-degree horizontal viewing angle (750-inch virtual screen, virtual viewing distance approx. 20m)*2 which is equivalent to a movie theater screen, while the shielding construction creates a deep feeling of immersion.
'5.1ch Virtual Surround Technology (Virtualphones Technology)' for realistic and expressive sound.

As a 3D-compatible Head Mounted Display for consumer product (announced on August 31, 2011).
Virtual screen size experience may vary between individuals.
This device must be connected to the supplied processor unit via supplied cable, and the processor unit must be connected to a playback device such as a Blu-ray disc™ device via the HDMI cable.

Main Features (Details)

(1) High definition OLED panel delivers high picture quality

It realized 0.7-inch, high definition OLED panel (1280 x 720), through Sony's unique expertise in both OLED display and semiconductor silicon drive technology. The display's high contrast, color reproducibility, and fast response give added depth, allowing the viewer to enjoy smooth and high picture quality. For more information about high definition OLED panel

High contrast: The self-illuminating OLED panels achieve a powerfully high contrast that transcends the limits of measuring equipment. The display's ability to render true ultra-deep black tones results in beautiful and stunningly crisp contrasted images, even for bright light such as fireworks or twinkling city lights against the night sky.
Color reproducibility: Sony developed a new signal processing circuit in order to maximize the features of OLED, particularly the bright, highly-pure colors and smooth gradation expression. Sony's own proprietary 'Super Bit Mapping Video (SBMV) technology' has been incorporated to convert the 8-bit video of terrestrial digital broadcasts and Blu-ray discs™ for reproduction as a gradation expression equivalent to 14-bits. Even the faintest color differences are faithfully reproduced.
Fast response: The OLED panel illuminates as soon as electrical current is passed through it, giving it superior fast response (response time: less than 0.01ms) for video. This enables the panel to display smooth, natural video, even for fast-moving activities such as sports and games, without any blurry afterimages.

Interchangeable lens camera "α77" and "α65", as well as "NEX-7" are equipped with 0.5-inch (diagonal 12.7mm) and XGA electronic viewfinder (EVF). (Announced on August 24, 2011)

(2) The 'Dual Panel 3D Method' delivers natural and bright 3D picture quality that is crosstalk-free

Displaying 3D images using a single screen generally requires either the Frame Sequential (FS) method, in which the screens for left and right are switched rapidly, or the Line by Line (LBL) method, in which the video for left and right is displayed alternately on the scan line. The FS method tends to generate crosstalk phenomenon, which occurs when the left and right video frames do not switch completely, resulting in mixed images. Under the LBL method, the number of pixels is halved.

'HMZ-T1' adopts the 'Dual Panel 3D method,' which utilizes separate panels for the left and right eyes, each with its own dedicated 3D video. Therefore, it does not generate crosstalk. Furthermore, as the HD quality video is displayed separately on each of the panels, viewers can now enjoy high resolution 3D video that is natural, bright and extremely pure, to an extent that had not been possible until now.

(3) Optical lens which realize wide 45-degree horizontal viewing angle equivalent to a movie theater screen, while the shielding construction creates a deep feeling of immersion.

From Sony's optical lens technology developed through the projector, the adopted optical lens realize the wide 45-degree horizontal viewing angle, which enables the viewer to enjoy a movie theater-like atmosphere with wide vision experience of 750-inch virtual screen (virtual viewing distance 20m)*2. In addition, it realizes low aberration and distortion which reproduce the primary movie theater picture quality. The viewer can easily read small subtitles whilst experiencing the intensity of 3D as the video images expand before their eyes.

The design of this device is such that it covers the maximum possible field of vision (approx. 200 degrees), surpassing the video viewing range of 45 degrees. Any information unrelated to viewing is isolated, resulting in a feeling of deep immersion. The supplied light shield (shade plate) can intercept the light from below, which further enhances the feeling of immersion for the viewer.

(4) Equipped with '5.1ch Virtual Surround Technology (Virtualphones Technology)' to enjoy realistic and expressive sound

'HMZ-T1' incorporates Sony's unique expertise in surround signal processing technology '5.1ch Virtual Surround Technology (Virtualphones Technology)', which is developed especially for headphones. "Virtualphones Technology (VPT)" creates a sound field that naturally reproduces the sound to make it seem as though the sound source is emanating from speakers placed all around the viewer (including front and back). The viewer can enjoy sound equivalent to a maximum 5.1ch multi-channel audio, thus further enhancing the spatial effects of 3D, whilst simultaneously experiencing a very realistic feeling of actually being there.

Equipped with 4 surround modes
It is equipped with 4 surround modes which one can select depending on the content. Aside from 'Standard' mode, the user can also select from 'Cinema' for authentic movie theater-like acoustics, 'Game' for reproducing a clear sense of direction, which can be vital for game-playing, and 'Music' for those times when the viewer simply wants to enjoy the original sound, such as might be heard in a recording studio.

Other Features

1. Convenient operation

The device's control key (located behind the front) is used to control the volume and basic operations (such as playback, pause, fast forward, rewind, previous chapter, next chapter) of any connected devices with HDMI CEC control function. Settings for the picture quality and audio quality can also be performed via menu screen.

2. Convenient functions

It is equipped with a wearable sensor, which automatically turn off the panel if the viewer is not wearing the product. It is a convenient function and environment friendly. If the viewer is not wearing the product for a fixed period of time, it will automatically switch to standby mode.

3. Processor Unit for connection to other devices

Head Mounted Unit (left) Processor Unit (right)

Head Mounted Unit (left)
Processor Unit (right)

The processor unit is equipped with one socket for HDMI output and another for through output. The built-in HDMI output switcher enables both the Head Mounted Display and a television to be connected to the processor unit at any given time, thereby allowing the user to switch between devices for their desired output destination.

Furthermore, the processor unit and the HMD can be connected together with a single cable, which integrates the audio and video signals with the power source.

Health Consideration

Age restrictions
Considering the protection of the growth and development, we ask children (age 15 and younger) to refrain from using this product.
Cautionary matters when using the device
In any rough or unstable environment with a propensity for travel sickness to occur (such as in a vehicle), we ask our customers to refrain from using the device.