Sony Launching A 3D Face Helmet

Sony Launching A 3D Face Helmet

Sony has revealed a 3D entertainment system that allows you to watch movies, play games, and listen to music — and it all fits on your face.

The system, named the HMZ Personal 3D Viewer (HMZ is meant to stand for Head Mounted Display, although I missed the part where “Display” begins with the letter “Z”), is targeted at those who want a solitary entertainment experience.

The unit hooks up to consoles and Blu-Ray players and fits snugly like a pair of giant goggles on the user’s face. Aside from providing the user with 3D imagery, it also plays sound.

The HMZ is priced at 60,000 yen ($AU732) and will be available in Japan from November 11. There are no launch dates for Europe, the US or Australia yet, although reports have hinted at a Christmas launch.

Do you think the HMZ will take off? Would you consider buying one? Let us know what you think!

Hands On: Sony’s HMZ-T1 Is An Amazing OLED 3DTV That You Wear On Your Head [Gizmodo]


  • Do I have $700 spare? No.

    If I did, would I spend it on this? No.

    Do I consider myself a rational human being? That one’s also no, but let’s lie and say yes for the purpose of this statement.

    As such, I figure that very few rational people would want to buy one of these, and I somehow doubt that it would have any success as a mass market item.

    That said, it’s being priced and most likely targeted for a niche market, and maybe Sony has low expectations that this thing might meet.

    Though they would probably have to be pretty low…

    • The thing I like about it would be the fact that I could play my PS3 whilst lying down, and the potential for head tracking does seem promising.

      But I wouldn’t throw $700 at it.

      • For me, I can play my 360 while propped up in my bed, and since I live in my own corner of the house, I can treat my room like a mini-theatre setup, and not worry about disturbing other people. As such, I would have no use for it, and I’d struggle justifying it if it was $200 for anything other than the cool factor.

  • Over $730? (Is that before or after the markup that we get for living in Australia?)that’s so expensive! I’ll just buy a brand new big screen 3DTV thank you.

  • I like the idea, and it has obvious gaming applications, but given only one person at a time can use it, it really should be in the budget price range (i.e. cheaper than a decent sized lcd TV – so I’m thinking about $250).

      • The current product does literally nothing a TV can’t, and because it requires a base station, its not particularly portable.

        My logic is thus:

        1. This product simulates having a big TV.
        2. Only one person can use it at once.
        3. You can get a massive TV for less.
        4. Multiple people can use said massive TV at once, so I don’t need one for each member of my family (well, theoretically anyway. We have two more TV’s than people in my house.
        5. Product should be cheaper than the thing it simulates. This product is not.
        6. I will change my opinion if they integrate head-tracking.

        • My logic is thus:

          1. This product does not simulate having a tv, this product allows you to watch something, which is also what a tv does, but it does not mean one is simulating the other.

          2. Only one person can use it at once, yep!

          3. You can get a massive TV for less. Yep you sure can. if you want a tv, which is quite different to wanting a headset, because they are different things.

          4. Multiple people can use said massive TV at once. Yep, and one of the great benefits of this headset is that multiple people CANT use it at once. (I would get one BECAUSE only one person can see it. Some of us live in households with other people who would rather all use the big tv to watch Glee than see ‘those damn racing cars go round and round again’ :D)

          5. It’s not a simulation of a tv. I could buy a car for less than a fully kitted out simulator racing seat and wheel setup, but they are not comparable because whilst they both have to do with driving, they are different things.

          6. Agreed they should definitely have full head tracking right from the start, every phone and controller has gyro’s in it, no reason this shouldn’t!

  • Well personally if it works well then I can kinda see the appeal of it. I mean, it would be fairly similar to a personal iMax experience as your whole field of view would be just pure game. I could dig that.

    • Actually I’m tempted to go out and buy 2 so I can invite my friend over to play some games then when I lose say “You were screen cheating”.

      Spending over $1400 for a joke is perfectly reasonable right? … right?

    • The thing that gets me though, is that you can’t use it for a long flight or drive. It hooks up to exsisting Blu players and consoles, which seems pointless. Maybe you could hook it up to a PSP/Vita, but over $1100 for what? Not worth it.

  • Assuming it’s light enough (for extended gaming sessions) I could see the appeal for 3D gaming/movies. Would be great to be completely immersed in the experience. I hate the shitty glasses at the cinemas for 3D movies. They never sit on the bridge of my nose properly, and I can always see around the gaps between the glasses and my eyes..always takes me out of the experience.

  • This device looks dorky as hell and I still want one. Obviously I’m brain damaged from watching The Lawnmower Man as a child.

  • Yeah I totally would if it was about $300 cheaper. Usually the TV is taken up by someone else in my home so this would be awesome. Or i could get a new tv

  • It’s weird but every couple of years a device like this is announced, like these or these then it dissapears.

    A big name like Sony might be jumping on the bandwagon now but that doesn’t stop the technology from being completely stupid and impractical. If, for some moronic reason, these do become popular I cannot wait for the first news story of the guy taking of his HMZ after watching a Star Wars bluray and finds his house has been robbed.

  • Sorry guys, I called this months ago. Its the future and I can’t see why you don’t dig it. Maybe your chairs aren’t comfortable enough to lean back in, but I would TOTALLY buy one of these if I had a spare $700. I do agree that the price is pretty high. But for a solo gaming experience, this is the only way that 3D makes any sense at all.

    I do hope it covers the entire field of vision for the average person though, otherwise its still flawed.

  • with OLED screens in the device, I would at least like to give it ago.

    I’m not going to be able to afford one anytime soon, but if the display is decent, then as a device that allows a 2nd person to watch/play something without disrupting another and vice versa, then why not?

  • Seriously people. It’s basically a portable OLED cinema (the effect apparently simulates sitting 20 metres from a 750″ cinema screen in a pitch-black room), and the fact that it uses a seperate screen for each eye means that unlike active or passive 3DTVs or autostereoscopic devices like the 3DS, it is giving you actual, real 3D. I for one can’t wait to play 3D games/watch 3D movies on this. For example, my PC version of Arkham Asylum. Most excellent.

    • That’s not actual 3D, that’s stereoscopic imaging as well.

      3D would require actual depth. You can’t actual do that on a a flat monitor, though some companies are trying a layered screen.

  • All I’d like to see done with this is a Wii-mote type sensor attached to the helmet for head tracking.

    Would be great if you could use your actual head to look around in a FPS game.

    Kinect might have some potential too – if it was better at mapping and it could communicate with the headset in real-time, it’d be great to see super-imposed graphics over, let’s say, your own hands… but I don’t think that will be possible for some time in any sort of accurate sense.

  • I can see two markets for this. People who do not have 3dtvs but want to play ps3 games in 3d cheaply. And people with partners who don’t appreciate games in the loungeroom.

    Personally I think that it could work really well and that we shouldn’t knock it until we try it.

  • I’d only buy it if it gave me an IR image overlay of my surroundings and allowed avatars of my favourite game chars to be overlaid on the people around me.

    I may also need to see through walls with it… but that’s not a deal breaker.

  • Well I’d give it a go if there was a demo version in a shop (if only to say I’ve worn a $700 hat) but since my brain is a bit messed up with strobing light, I’m not certain it’d be a viable long term product for me.

    Give me a half hour of gaming or 3d video and it might convince me otherwise though

    One thing I can REALLY imagine being amazing is combining this headset with a good HOTAS stick setup, TrackIR and a top shelf flight sim, that would potentially kick some major arse. In fact I may just have talked myself into this…

    • I immediately though of the TrackIR when I saw this too. Only in my vision i was playing ARMA2. This could be the first baby steps to VR that beyond 2000 promised me as a kid, now all I need is my robot best friend and my flying car and my adult life will exactly what I thought it would be.

  • Some people with small living spaces may like the cinematic experience, but not want their entire apartment or the like dominated by a large screen. This device is ideal for them.
    Sony is a Japanese company (to a degree). Japanese people live in tiny apartments quite often. Seems like a solid plan, to me.
    now their problem of teens becoming shut-in recluses can be accompanied with glorious reality-excluding 3D tech!

    • conceptually it isn’t!

      The only thing that has changed is the technology that powers the device. That’s why Sony has a hard sell ahead of them. 3D is still in infant stages as a technology and fully immersive displays such as this kind of fell out of fashion after the 80’s. Even the 3ds suffers from these stigmas and was presented in a similar, niche vein. It also had a pretty decent software line up.

      Sony has always been a big fan of proprietry (awful spelling) formats & as always (IMO) the challenge will be luring developers/studios etc to develop dedicated content.

      No accelerometer / gyro? Lame.

  • I’ve been watching this since Sony demonstrated it a while back and now that they’ve announced its public availability, I just can’t contain my excitement…

    I just hope they make it available in Australia, ’cause I’ll buy one in a heartbeat if they do!

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