Carl Zeiss has announced the ZEISS Cinemizer plus, an updated and improved version of the original ZEISS Cinemizer video eyewear.

The new Cinemizer plus incorporates improved comfort and usability features, according to the company.

The Cinemizer combines high-resolution LCD screens with individual diopter focus adjustment (-3.5 to +3.5D). This means even if the user wears glasses the screen image can be focussed for crystal-clear viewing. The resulting image is optically tuned to appear as virtual 45-inch (diagonal) screen, as viewed from six feet away (2 metres).

Carl Zeiss Cinemizer plus

The original Cinemizer incorporated on-ear headphones. The Cinemizer plus adds the ability to override the built-in headphones and plug in high-end third-party models.

In order to improve cable management, the previous on-cable controls have been moved to the main battery unit. There are two additional nosepad adaptors, and the sliding earpieces are made of a softer compound "for extra comfort and a better fit for people of all ages".

The "Made for iPod" Cinemizer is designed specifically to work with all Apple iPods that have video. The Cinemizer also works with both the original and the iPhone 3G.

Both the original and plus versions of the Cinemizer feature a 3D mode that enables stereoscopic viewing of 3D content. Content that is produced in side-by-side 3D format can be displayed from any video source. The views are then split for left and right screens. The resulting experience is a rich and immersive 3D image.

Carl Zeiss is actively lobbying Hollywood studios to offer consumer versions of the 3D movies they are creating. Of 5,545 (indoor) cinemas in the US, there are 1,068 3D capable screens, which are showing a rapidly growing number of 3D movies. But currently there are very few options to bring the 3D experience into the consumer realm.

Carl Zeiss Cinemizer plus

Cinemizer plus availability

The Cinemizer plus will be available in the USA, UK and Germany from March 2009. The original Cinemizer is still available, and for the first time is for sale in the USA and UK.

The original Cinemizer is £299 in the UK, $449 in the US, and €369 including VAT in Germany.

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