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Sony headset puts 3-D movies right in your face

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Sony headset puts 3-D movies right in your face

Old 11-27-2011, 04:20 PM
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Default Sony headset puts 3-D movies right in your face

It weighs about half a kilogram, sells for $800, makes you look like a Trekkie and is available in Sony stores this Friday. The Personal 3D Viewer –a visor-like headset – is a first-of-its-kind product that promises to give gaming enthusiasts and film buffs a fully immersed, theatre-like 3-D experience in the privacy of their own homes.

The experience: You pull it on like you would a ball cap, adjusting the plastic frame to sit as lightly as possible on the bridge of your nose, with the bulk of the weight on the back of your head. (It takes a few attempts to get the head mount just right). Once it’s secured properly – and next to no outside light gets in – the new device provides an eye-popping, 3-D ride. Whether playing PlayStation 3’s Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception or watching Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, the three dimensions are sharp and clear, the surround-sound impressive, and the colour punchy. Two organic LED small screens sit 10 to 20 centimetres from your eyes to create the effect of watching a theatre-sized screen from 20 metres away. The downside? You have a contraption stuck to your face, which takes some getting used to, and can get heavy after a few hours.

The buy-in: Sony began taking pre-orders for the Personal 3D Viewer in mid-October online and at Sony stores in Canada. Oddly, Sony won’t disclose how many Personal 3D Viewers have been pre-sold, saying only the product “is in very high demand.” (Which raises the question: If it’s in such ‘high demand,’ then why not disclose the numbers?). Wearable head-mounted displays have been around since about the mid-90s. Competitors include the Vuzix Wrap 1200, a 3-D portable headset that plugs into an iPad or iPhone; it looks like a pair of sunglasses and sells for $499 (U.S.) on Amazon. And Epson’s Moverio transparent video eyewear will be available in Japan this month (no North American distribution plans have yet been announced). Sony’s headset, which plugs into a Playstation 3 or a Sony 3-D BluRay disc player, is unique because it’s high-definition 3-D that replicates a fully immersive, theatre experience. But Carmi Levy, a technology analyst in London, Ont., says the Personal 3D Viewer’s $800 price tag means the product is aimed primarily at well-heeled audio/videophiles. “This will not be a mass-market item any time soon,” Levy said. “It’s more a halo product to showcase Sony’s technological prowess … but let’s face it, it’s priced on par with the most expensive iPad.”

Read more: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle2248271/
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