Sony trims the fat on latest Personal 3D Viewer headset
By Darren Quick
August 30, 2012
Along with its 84-inch 4K TV, Sony also chose IFA 2012 to unveil the latest version of its head-mounted Personal 3D Viewer. The successor to the HMZ-T1 we tried out at IFA last year, Sony claims the updated HMZ-T2 model boasts a sharper display, improved sound and is some 20 percent lighter, making it easier on the ol’ neck muscles.
Apart from a slight redesign and reduction in weight, the available specs appear largely the same as the previous model. There’s twin 0.7-inch OLED screens sending what we assume to be the same 1,280 x 720 resolution images to each eye as the HMZ-T1. However, Sony does claim the new model offers a "sharper display," so there's a chance the resolution has been increased in the new model. Either way, the twin OLED's deliver 2D and 3D high definition images with a 45-degree field of vision that simulates viewing a 19 m (62.5 ft) movie screen from a distance of 20 m (66 ft).
The 0.01 ms response times of the OLED monitors ensures smooth motion of fast-moving images and helps eliminate the crosstalk problem that has plagued 3D displays. The 24p True Cinema displays movies at 24 frames per second, while a Clear mode designed for fast-action sequences is recommended for gamers. The device also lowers image tone intensity from blue to red hues to reduce eye fatigue in extended viewing sessions.
The “Virtualphones” technology also remains, which is claimed to create a 360-degree natural sound field that mimics a true 5.1 channel surround sound setup. The unit also supports the use of a user’s own wired or wireless headphones and comes with “Harmonic Equalizer” audio enhancement technology built in.
The biggest improvement is in the weight of the device, which is now just 330 g (0.7 lb). Sony says this is 20 percent lighter than previous models and is a definite plus for something intended to sit on your noggin for extended periods. However, it’s unclear whether that weight includes the detachable light shields. The unit has also been redesigned to make it easier to adjust.
Sony made no mention of availability or pricing of the HMZ-T2, but the previous generation’s US$800 price tag might provide some clue as to the latter.