Gadget Review: Carl Zeiss Cinemizer

I’VE TRIED a selection of video goggles over the years. None has stood up to the idiot test which specifies that exceptional functionality is required to balance their incredibly unfashionable appearance.

Carl Zeiss are better known as a high-end manufacturer of lenses which grace some of Sony’s finest cameras. They’ve taken their precision pedigree and applied it to these HD OLED (Organic light-emitting diode) video goggles which are designed to simulate a 40in screen from a 2 metre distance.

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This effect is achieved by two mini OLED displays, one for each eye, each with a 870x500 pixels resolution. When I’ve tried less sophisticated models by other manufacturers, I ended up getting a headache from watching two postage stamp-sized screens perched on my nose that never really merged into one. I didn’t have high hopes for the Cinemizer. The sample I tested was hooked up to an iPhone using the optional iPod/iPhone adapter dock, but out of the box the Cinemizer can be connected to practically any TV, games console or PC with a HDMI connection. Thankfully, I didn’t need to double up and wear my normal glasses as the focus adjustment dials took care of my shortsightedness.

The demo video on the iPhone was a 3D movie of a rollercoaster ride, and the effect was nothing short of mindblowing. It did genuinely feel like I was a loner in my darkened personal cinema. While this may not be something to aspire to socially, in gadget terms this was a technological triumph. While the price of £525 will confine the Cinemizer to gadget diehards, it is the most immersive virtual experience I’ve had to date.

Carl Zeiss Cinemizer, £525 from www.amazon.co.uk; for more information see http://cinemizer.zeiss.com