Hands On With Sony’s Headman

 title=As part of their prototype demonstrations during yesterday’s press event, Sony showed off the Headman – a personal viewing device that looks a lot like a top-heavy version of Nintendo’s old Virtual Boy. But unlike Nintendo’s failed VR headset, the Headman prototype is like sitting in your own private HD cinema.

While there have been plenty of similar products from different companies over the years, the Headman prototype is different. It uses two small OLED screens to create a virtual 3D cinema for you and you alone.

Watching content on through the device is fantastic. It literally looks like you’re at the back of a seatless movie theatre with a big screen in front of you. That perceived depth between you and the screen means that there’s plenty of room for virtual 3D images to pop out at you from the screen.
Although I only watched the pop song loop for a minute or so, it was definitely impressive. The problem – and pretty much forgiven due to its “prototype” status – is that you need to manually hold the headset up to your eyes, and it’s pretty front-heavy. It’s also wired, which means that it isn’t necessarily going to be a mobile solution.

Chances are we’ll never actually see this as a proper consumer product. Which makes sense, because chances are most people wouldn’t want to wear a bulky face visor, regardless of the cool Tron aesthetics. And it being a Sony product, it probably wouldn’t be cheap enough for most people to buy one. But it’s still one of the highlights of CES for me so far, even if the name isn’t exactly catchy…