We caught a preview of Sony's odd, space-agey head-mounted viewer (appealingly named the HMZ-T1) back at CES in January, but we were pretty surprised to learn that not only is it not a mere demo, Sony's actually planning on, like, putting the thing in stores, where you can exchange currency for it and then take it home. Sony claims it offers an incredibly immersive 3-D experience, better than any TV. We've now played with it twice, and in some ways, that's true.
Our sister publication, the AV wizards (it's not a club, really) over at Sound & Vision, got a glimpse of B&O's newest, record-breaking, ludicrously-priced 4-85 TV. At 85 inches, it's the world's biggest consumer 3-D TV, and at $85,000, one of the most expensive. It displays 3-D in full 1080p and even has a stand into which the screen retracts.
When I decided to invite some people over to my house last Friday to watch the World Cup on a new 50-inch plasma 3-D TV, a loaner from Panasonic, I made the mistake of emailing out a picture of myself wearing the 3-D glasses. My brother, bless him, replied, "I love the third dimension!" Everyone else seemed a little put off. "If I can extract a promise that no photos of me will appear on Popsci.com, I'm in," emailed one friend.
I can understand the hesitation. 3-D glasses flatter no one. You'd feel less conspicuous wearing a clown nose. But that was the half the point of the party. With the recent hubbub over 3-D TV, I wanted to find out if people could take the technology seriously. Can you wear the glasses without feeling as though you're part of the entertainment? Is it possible to enjoy an entire soccer game with such an awkward, uncomfortable accessory strapped to your face, and in the company of others? I figured I'd let my friends be the judge. And judge they did.
Everyone's got World Cup Fever this weekend, and for a lucky few that means getting the chance to break in their brand-spankin'-new 3-D TVs as the matches are broadcast from South Africa. For those who haven't taken the 3-D plunge yet -- be it because of prohibitive pricing or not wanting to deal with the dorky glasses -- Microsoft's Applied Sciences group has shared a new glasses-less 3-D display that could herald the adoption of the sets at long last.