Sony Concept Video Glasses

Sony Glasstron is back. Well…not yet. Some of you might not have even heard of this term before, so here is little lesson in Sony history. Glasstron concept was introduced back in late 90s. Sony Japan released a model PLM-S700 with the following info:
Sony Corporation today announced plans to launch a new personal LCD Monitor, called the PC Glasstron [ PLM-S700 ]. Equipped with 1.5 million dots on each 0.7 inch liquid crystal display, the new PC Glasstron will be released on the Japanese market this November.


When connected to a personal computer, the PC Glasstron lets users see SVGA (800×600) quality display images from the PC in a personal environment. In addition, by connecting the PC Glasstron to a VTR or a DVD player, consumers will be able to enjoy the virtual experience of watching video images on a large screen display.

Main Features of PLM-S700. Here are some specs I dug out on pdf file.

1) Dynamic images and sound
The PLM-S700 offers a virtual experience of watching a 30 inch screen (SVGA) viewed from 1.2 meters away when connected to a personal computer. In addition, built-in stereo headphones provide quality sound.
2) Compact size for portability and comfort
The display unit is compact in size and can be folded for portability. The main components of the unit are made of magnesium alloy for durability. In addition, the lightweight display unit provides an easy fit to the head and ensures comfort over extended hours of use, even for users who wear eye glasses.
3) See-through mode
A see-through mode allows users to view the surrounding environment by adjusting the transparency of the entire screen.

In 1997 Glasstron popped up in Europe and US under the following model names: PLM-A35 and A55. CNN reported about them in the following fashion:

“This past Christmas, Sony has brought to life one of a device straight out of the futuristic Jetsons cartoon: a big-screen TV the size of a pair of glasses. The Sony Glasstron Personal LCD Monitor (PLM-A35) is a pint-sized device that claims to be able to display a 52″ color TV screen, as it would be seen at a distance of six feet. This portable little wonder fits like a pair of glasses, and provides impressive video and sound quality.
On the inside of the glasses, are two concave mirrors that reflect the tiny LCD picture to each eye and using the wonders of binocular vision, combines the two pictures into a single visual image. Looking into the device gives the feeling of being in a movie theater.”


Glasstron got their share of favorable reviews from IGN back than and its criticism as those glasses were not really for everyone to use.  Sony even warned customers in its manual about its negative effects:

* This product should not be used by children aged 15 or younger.
* Individuals diagnosed with eye or heart disease, injury or high blood pressure should consult
* their doctor prior to use. Also individuals with epilepsy should not use this product at all.


Back to our announcement, Sony introduced a prototype of glasses that might show up on shelves of Sunglass Hut Sonystyle stores in 3-5 years. Yea, we gotta wait again for something so cool to come to fruition. I was lucky enough to chit chat with the member of the Japanese team working on these glasses at CES. As you may have seen in our videos we featured earlier, Sony glasses are very stylish and are capable of projecting hopefully some Hi Def onto your retina in the near future. They definitely fit well on Tom Hanks and Sir Howard Stringer looked like a knight in a shining Armour (simply magic transformation….ahhh we kid)

As far as good ole Sony Glasstron, I own a pair (A55 model) but have not had the guts to use them on an airplane, don’t want to appear like I am some freaking Robocop…though they do look pretty cool for 21 century home use. I even tested them with my PS3 and its not so glorious VGA output… I won’t go there though. But again they serve its purpose and when you want to relax in your arm chair and watch a movie without turning the TV on, Glasstrons will take care of it.

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