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Sony’s 3D Head Mounted Display HMZ-T1 Will Be Available Soon

August 31st, 2011 · 13 Comments · 3D / AR / VR / HMD

Do you remember the HMD device that Sony was demoing back at the beginning of the year during CES 2011, back then it was just a prototype and the company wasn’t sure if it will be making appearance as an actual products? Well the good news is is soon going to be released at least on the Japanese market, but maybe soon on others as well. The device is slightly redesigned compared to the prototype, but not that much different and with the same specifications, of course also supporting stereoscopic 3D. Sony is supported to release the HMZ Personal 3D Viewer as they call the device on November 11th in Japan with a retail price of 59,800 Japanese Yen which roughly translates to about $780 USD, not a bad price for such a device actually.

The interesting thing about this 3D HMD device from Sony is that it uses two 0.7-inch (18 mm diagonal) high definition OLED panels with native resolution of 1280×720 pixels, a similar concept like the Emagin Z-800 3D Visor is some of you remember it, but with more up to date hardware. Thanks to the use of OLED panels the image quality should be very good, faster response, with brighter colors and darker black thanks to the fact that OLED displays do not have and need additional backlight. The presence of 2 independent panels, one for each eye means that you will be getting crosstalk-free stereoscopic 3D experience in 720p HD resolution. The optical lenses in front of the OLED displays should be able to provide you with a FOV of 45 degrees, still not wide enough to cover your full peripheral vision like what you’d expect from a HDM (the eMagin solution offers about 40 degrees FOV). According to Sony the experience of wearing the HMZ-T1 is like watching video in a movie theater-like 750-inch virtual screen virtual from a viewing distance of approximately 20 meters. And together with the 3D video support, the 3D Head Mounted Display should also come with a virtual 5.1-channel audio built-in the headphones in order to provide you with a more realistic surround sound as well.

Now, regarding what connectivity options will the HMZ-T1 3D Personal Viewer offer, it is not very clear, but it will have HDMI interface for sure. This interface should be 1.4a-capable in order to easily accommodate stereoscopic 3D support for devices such as Sony’s PlayStation 3 console or a Blu-ray 3D player, and we may even have it supported on PC as well. The connectivity is done through the supplied processor unit that is connected through a cable to the 3D viewer device as you can see on the photo above. And aside from the standard input HDMI connector there should be one more in order to enable pass-through mode, so what what you see on the HMD device will also be displayed on a 3D HDTV for example. Now the 3D Head Mounted Display HMZ-T1 from Sony is definitely something worth waiting for, especially if you were interested in the HMD-type of devices for a while now and have tried multiple solutions so far, and hopefully we won’t have to wait for too long…

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13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jacob Pederson // Aug 31, 2011 at 15:43

    The specs on this thing sound incredible . . . wonder how much it’d cost to import to the U.S. :(

    This announcement comes right about the same time Vuzix is attempting to launch their lower resolution and lower FOV VR1200 (but comes with a head-tracker), not to mention the upcoming cinemizer plus. After a decade of stagnation, seems it’s a good year for the HMD!

  • 2 No.6 // Aug 31, 2011 at 16:07

    “According to Sony the experience of wearing the HMZ-T1 is like watching video in a movie theater-like 750-inch virtual screen from a viewing distance of approximately 20 meters.”
    How nice of Sony to provide a convenient reference point that everyone can relate to. After all, I’m constantly talking about my 46-inch screen by relating it to how many *meters* I’m sitting from it.
    (in other words: use consistent units of measurement!!)
    Other than that this sounds very promising, really. I was waiting for the other shoe to drop in the form of the Zeiss unit but this announcement is a pleasant surprise.

  • 3 mikadus // Aug 31, 2011 at 17:15

    I like a lot this HMD, I’ll probably get it if importing it doesn’t get too expensive, being able to watch 3d anytime anywhere whatever the light conditions would be great.

  • 4 quadrophoeniX // Aug 31, 2011 at 18:20

    @ No.6:
    Even worse they are mixing up metric and imperial scales and on top they do not tell the side ratio the “virtual 75″” screen refers to (e.g. 16:9 as in HDTV or 21:9 as in cinemascope). This is rather important because the virtual distance perceived is calculated by the width not diagonal sice of the screen as hypothenusis.
    Still, according to my practical experience with HMDs this comparison to “virtual” large screens sucks anyway, since the brain is not tricked that easily. You rather feel like a 7.5″ screen viewn at from 20cm , but that clearly wouldn’t read as half as impressive :)

  • 5 quadrophoeniX // Aug 31, 2011 at 18:34

    Oh I forgot…sticking to your question, if it was 16:9 perceived distance of a virtual 46″ screen was roughly 4ft – but as said, it just don’t fell like this

  • 6 Drew // Aug 31, 2011 at 22:16

    Its not full view/ wrap around? its hard for me to get too excited by a large (but nice) screen floating in blackness… still cool though

  • 7 ganar dinero // Sep 1, 2011 at 00:20

    I could see myself playing Left 4 Dead 2 with these things, and enjoying the hell out of it. I don’t even care that the overall resolution is lower than the 1080p I currently play at, this would be so completely worth it.

    I hope the headphones are good though. I would hate to have such a nice display chained to subpar audio.

  • 8 claydough // Sep 2, 2011 at 07:19

    With my 45 year old eyes, I wonder if its even possible. Perhaps custom prescription glasses will enable viewing a screen that close to my eyes.

  • 9 vrhome // Sep 4, 2011 at 22:34

    I tried it at ifa yesterday and the quality of the displays is really good. fov also feels ok compared to what we usually get with a consumer hmd.
    but, the device was heavy and very uncomfortable to wear…

  • 10 dsk1210 // Sep 8, 2011 at 16:46

    vrhome i am thinking of picking one of these up near the end of the year, quite excited about it actually, i had almost gave up on 3d because of crosstalk, totally ruins the illusion for me.

    Did the screen look a good size? i am used to using my 50″ panny from about 6 foot away, i like to be immersed, what did it feel like to you?

    I know its only 720p which to be honest, is an amazing resoloution for the size of the screen, but did it hold up well when magnified with the lense?

    Cheers for any answers you can provide.


  • 11 nilesh ghimire // Nov 19, 2011 at 09:36


  • 12 orthicviper // Nov 28, 2011 at 06:11

    If the system uses HDMI instead of dual-link DVI or a Mini DisplayPort then it’s good the resolution is 1280x720p so it can be 60 frames per second instead of 1920x1080p and being limited to 30fps. I mean, I hope I’m right on this. I don’t want to be stuck with 30 fps.

  • 13 Anonymous Coward // Dec 10, 2011 at 00:12

    Go 1080p or go home.

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