Sony's new 720p OLED 3DTV with 5.1 virtual surround has a 150-inch screen-equivalent and costs $800. But it weighs less than a pound. 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 airplane, 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 skeptical 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.
The thing the HMZ-T1 does well is melt away. It's lightweight at 14.8 oz. Adjustments at the nose bridge and temple let you adjust the width of the eye and ear pieces so you can get a perfect fit for your face. The over-ear speakers (and this is impossible to overstate) positively deposit you in sound. In fact, this entire thing is less immersive than it is enveloping. I felt like I was inside the game.
It's also terribly dorky-looking. Straight up nerdtown. But you're not going to be wearing this in public (I hope) and you won't care.
It will be available in October, and we'll have a full test before it goes onsale.
The big downside? These suckers cost $800. That's a pretty massive price tag. Yeah, Sony's got its cool back, but can anyone afford it?