I've often wondered how I can watch R-rated movies without my son sneaking peeks at the TV screen. Sure, I could pop them in the DVD player after he goes to bed, but sometimes I'm completely spent in the later part of the evening. Luckily for me, with the new Personal Cinema System (PCS) developed by Headplay, I can watch as much blood and gore as I want - even if my son is sitting right next to me on the couch. Check out the news story: "This 52-inch screen goes on your head."
According to the article, Headplay will release the PCS this June. What exactly is it? "Personal Cinema System [is] a portable movie viewer whose principal component is a sun visor that sports a monitor under the brim for close, personal viewing." You can also hook the PCS up to a computer to play online games.
Jay Puryear, the director of interactive marketing at Headplay, is pretty excited about the PCS. "The viewing experience is akin to watching a 52-inch TV from 6 feet away, after a user gets accustomed to it.... The actual monitor, which only measures about 4 inches across, beams images through a set of eyepieces. By looking through the eyepieces, the mind 'sees' a large-ish rectangular movie screen, or virtual monitor, on top of a black background. The eyepieces are independently focused so users don't need glasses, even if they are extremely farsighted or nearsighted."
Immediately, I'm reminded of binoculars, which I never have been able to see through very well, and the old-school 3-D View Finders that were all the rave when I was a kid. Movie goggles attached to a hat? I wonder if this hat will be as popular as the Thirst Aid Helmet, which comes equipped with two cup holders (one on either side of the hat) and attached straws for easy beer guzzling. Watch, next we'll have a hat with an embedded boom box... is there an iBox already in the works, Apple?
Without having experienced the PCS (yet), it's difficult for me to have a solid opinion. However, from an outside perspective, I'd give the PCS one thumbs-up and a snap for introverts, travelers, and sneaky viewers. On the other hand, if your ideal evening is snuggling up with a loved one, popping some popcorn, and watching a movie together, I'd suggest watching it the old fashion way - on the TV.
This image shows the PCS - the sun visor that sports a TV monitor under the brim, the device for selecting and navigating through the possible content selections with your thumb, and the "brain and nerve center" called the "Liberator" that connects to a PC or a TV. Click here to view the entire PCS gallery.
Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.