Would you pay $1,000 for a 720p screen? If you said, ‘Only if that screen appears to be 750 feet large and fits on my head,’ then Sony (NYSE:SNE) has the perfect thing for your next long flight. Sony calls its updated headset HMZ-T3W a “personal 3D viewer” and plans to release it sometime before the holidays, with a price tag of $999.
The Sony HMZ-T3W offers twin OLED screens that give the appearance of a 750-foot 3D screen viewed from 65 feet away. Is it sort of like viewing a 65-inch screen from 8 feet away? Perhaps, but let’s not spoil the fun. The HMZ-T3W also sports virtual 7.1 surround-sound and includes earbuds and a rechargeable battery pack.
The Sony Personal 3D Viewer (HMZ-T3W) will launch ahead of the Oculus Rift, the virtual-reality headset whose inventors raised more than $2.5 million on Kickstarter but still don't have a public release date. Demo units of the Oculus Rift are available to developers for $300 and sometimes make their way onto eBay for more than $500. Whereas the Oculus Rift offers a 360-degree view of a virtual environment, Sony’s HMZ-T3W gives consumers a portable entertainment experience that creates the illusion of a large-format theatrical experience, à la IMAX, with admittedly lower resolution.
The Sony HMZ-T3W will project 3D images into your eyes while ergonomically balancing on your head. It also works with standard 2D video, and is capable of connecting with smartphones, tablets and PCs to wirelessly stream content.
Adjustable headbands on the HMZ-T3W allow the viewer to fit “almost anyone,” Sony says, and the head-mounted unit also features a cushioned head pad to diminish the weight -- which Sony says is negligible. The HMZ-T3W is an updated version of the HMZ-T3, itself the third-generation in the Personal 3D Viewer line, following the HMZ-T1 and HMZ-T2.
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Targeting home-theater aficionados on the go, Sony has a page up on its U.S. store website where interested parties can sign up to be notified when the HMZ-T3W becomes available or preorder Sony’s Personal 3D Viewer.