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Head Mounted Displays


breeze in dandelion I've been watching the HMD scene for many years now, yearning for decent devices. We may have now reached a tipping point, with multiple hi-def products announced or released in the last couple months.

The first of the bunch was the Sony HMZ-T1. It was followed by the SiliconMicroDisplay ST1080 (no sales price announced yet), and Epson's Moverio BT-100.
I'm also excited by Apple's rumored interest in that field.

Some features that differentiate those products:

  • Resolution and image quality,
  • Mobility and battery life,
  • Price,
  • Opacity/transparency,
  • 3D.

One feature that is not yet offered is head tracking. Based on my experience with the HMZ-T1, this will improve the experience in gaming (I tried the latest Modern Warfare and Gears of War). Some hackers are experimenting with that already.

That said, I'm quite impressed with the image quality of Sony's HMZ-T1, both in 2D and 3D.
I only tried 3D content in the store because I couldn't get the 3D to work on my Xbox with Gears of War. The game seems to deliver 3D by splitting the display into left vs. right side, but the display expects two HDMI channels.
The 5.1 surround sound could be improved. The directional effect is nowhere as good as my Tritton AX360.
Finally, the weight and comfort remain an issue for prolonged usage.

Update: 3D actually works with Gears of War 3 on the Xbox. The HMZ-T1 offers different settings, such as side-by-side, and top-and-bottom. The resolution is effectively halved which is unfortunate, but the 3D is pretty effective nonetheless.

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