Return of the HMD!

Never heard of a Head-Mounted Display? Don’t worry, we’ll get you up to scratch before the new HMD’s come walking in.

Most people have probably never heard of a Monocular Head Mounted Display and you probably don’t even know what a Head Mounted Display is. Previously available in the 90’s, Head Mounted Displays (HMD’s) also went by the name VR Headsets, a name which isn’t quite the same but what most people recognised them as.

These headsets put a small screen directly in front of the eye allowing the viewer to see what appeared to be a huge screen. Connected to their own headphones, it was like having your own big screen TV in your own personal viewing space.

Monocular Head Mounted Displays differed from a full headset in that the full headsets covered both eyes like the visor of X-Men’s Cyclops while Monocular HMD’s only covered one. While it was an interesting concept, most of the Monocular HMD’s kept to the realm of early wearable computing as portable gaming usually required the use of both eyes and viewing real life out of one while the virtual world out of another proved cumbersome even for early games.

Well… now the humble Monocular Head Mounted Display is back… and it’s from Nikon of all people.

Previously an optics company known for their cameras and lesser known in the tech community for their medical instruments, Nikon have surprised everyone by springing a launch of their new WiFi-enabled 8 gigabyte Media Port UP300x, a headmounted monocular display that has an almost half-inch screen capable of playing back video and audio. While you might look like an idiot wearing it, you’ll also be an idiot controlling the video with head movements as the UP300x comes with a motion sensor built into the head mount.

At the moment, the device looks more like something that you can stick in the “We’ll be lucky if they release it outside of Japan,” but if you do manage to get yourself one, you’ll be able to run video for 2 hours or audio for 4 before your battery conks out.