Hands on: Sony Personal 3D Viewer HMZ-T1 review

3D just got personal

The Sony Personal 3D Viewer was instantly one of the most talked about products at IFA 2011 when CEO Howard Stringer unveiled the device at the company's press conference.

What began as a prototype at CES 2011 in January has now become a fully fledged product for Sony and this is one we don't see any other company emulating anytime soon.

It's clear that Sony is trying to make a statement with the chunky pearl white visor. The design smacks of '3D is the future and this is what the future looks like'.

Trying out the Sony Personal 3D Viewer, however, we aren't convinced that this is the future for 3D. For a start you feel utterly ridiculous wearing it, even though it is the sort of device you probably dreamed of having as a kid.

Sony personal 3d viewer

The bulk of the headset is a factor in this. Although it is comfortable enough, it is rather heavy. At least this time round, there is a head strap to keep it in place, as at CES 2011 the prototype had to be held to your face.

Sony personal 3d viewer

Once on and the actual picture quality you get from the Viewer is decent – it also soon becomes clear just why it is as chunky as it is. This is because the two screens – 0.7-inch OLED panels – have to be positioned far enough away to get the rather impressive 3D effect.

Sony personal 3d viewer

With the head set secured, the earphones nestle nicely on your ears and are well cushioned, offering effective surround sound to go with the 3D visuals. In fact, we could hear little background noise with the headset on, which is probably for the best as if you wear the visor in public there will be a lot of giggles.

Sony personal 3d viewer

The demo footage we were shown did present a clear picture, with little to no crosstalk or blurring. It is meant to be as if you are watching a 750-inch cinema screen but you are constantly conscious that the panels are just centimetres away from the bridge of your nose.

And that's the problem with the Personal 3D Viewer; it's just too out-there for the many to think about buying it.

Sony personal 3d viewer

If you are a gamer, though, you are probably already accustomed to playing a fake guitar or holding a fake gun, so strapping a prop from Star Trek to your face may be right up your street.

Sony personal 3d viewer

As there's no Sony Personal 3D Viewer UK release date or price, however, you will have to wait with bated breath before you become the third member of Daft Punk.


Content Team Lead

Marc (Twitter, Google+) is the content team lead for Future Technology, where he is in charge of a 14-strong team of journalists who write many of the wonderful stories that end up on TechRadar, T3.com and T3 magazine. Prior to this he was deputy editor of TechRadar, had a 10-month stint editing a weekly iPad magazine, written film reviews for a whole host of publications and has been an integral part of many magazines that are no longer with us.