3D glasses bring the outdoors inside

Cinemizer glasses, on display at the CeBIT technology fair in Hanover, Germany, let users visit exotic locations and luxury hotels without leaving home.

Designed to create an emersive visual experience, the Carl Zeiss Cinemizer OLED 3D multimedia glasses differ in one very big respect from Google's much publicized Project Glass headset -- there is a very clear use case for them.

Visitors to the company's stand at this year's CeBIT can put on the glasses and take a 3D virtual tour of five holiday resorts and experience a level of detail that should make wearers feel that they're actually there. The headset can be plugged into an iPhone, tablet or games console to provide an HD cinema viewing experience and could prove to be indispensable on a long-haul flight or even on those evenings when you wnat to lie down and still watch TV.

However, Carl Zeiss hopes that its headsets will be adopted by the travel industry as a means of letting holidaymakers explore a hotel suite or a far-off destination before parting with their money. To this end it has partnered with a company called moving-pictures that creates interactive panoramic tours, to build 3D experiences specifically for the Cinemizer that will work in conjunction with a headtracking unit.

"360° panoramas in the travel industry will help to meet expectations and to build trust with customers. Everyone can know in advance exactly what to expect and book their travel and accommodation with full confidence," explains Wolfgang Sailer, CEO of moving-pictures.

The headset weighs 80 grams so is comfortable enough to wear for a guided tour or even a feature film, and at €649 it is cheaper than many large-screen TVs, while offering a similar viewing experience.

Zeiss is also developing additions for the Cinemizer, including something called a quadrocopter, which works with a remote camera for the inspection of hard to reach places -- such as the underside of a vehicle.