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Review of Carl Zeiss Cinemizer Plus Video Glasses

Sales Package:

  • device
  • firm case for carrying
  • adaptors for cradle
  • USB-cable for charging

I believe Video Glasses are very close friends with diminutive projectors and other incredible inventions only good to be shown at exhibitions in order to amaze customers. It is really difficult and ridiculous to use them in real life. To put it simply, I personally regard video glasses as a dead branch on the gadgets tree. Of course, some events occur even there the display size is increasing, world-famous companies, like Carl Zeiss, are catching up. There appears to be a supply and demand there. Despite my negative mood, one shouldnt miss a simple fact - this accessory enjoys a stable and sometimes explosive demand. Some large companies buy the boxes of video glasses to make presents. Some customers are very fond of them and carefully monitor the emergence of new models.

Personally, Im a bit perplexed. Everything is very strange here. So let us take a close look at Carl Zeiss Cinemizer glasses.

Design, Build

I've heard the company decided to hire some design studio in order to make glasses design better, more beautiful and things like that. I think the company succeeded there: they look like some futuristic accessory aliens from outer space would wear. The black lacquered plastic is very susceptible to fingerprints, the temples have special fixer that is locked with a click. The bridge and the adjustable temples are made of soft rubber, a couple of extensions are provided. Glasses are fairly bulky and make an impression of a well-made thing, which refers not only to design, but also to other elements. Headphones are not inserted into the ears; they are sitting near, allowing you to adjust the position comfortably. The model weighs 115 grams which is not too much, but there is also a cradle weighing 85 grams and it is quite uncomfortable to carry it in jeans pocket paired with a player or a handset.

The sales package is really excellent firm carbon-like case, adaptors for cradle, a couple for iPod Classic, one for Nano and one for Touch. In order to make it work with iPhone 3GS you should to just glue a small part made of soft material to the adaptor for iPod Classic 160 GB.

In reviews on other sites this model comes equipped with remote control; we seem to have another version deprived of remote. Cradle and glasses are connected via a thick cable, its length is good. The cradle plays host to the connector, glasses power button, a lever for volume control and mode selection, jack for headphones or other devices, including DVD-players and some handsets (Nokia, for instance). At the same place you can find three LEDs that indicate the battery charge and operating modes (2D or 3D). Next to them is miniUSB slot for charging. There is also one more jack for headphones and Reset button hidden in the casing.

In general the device appearance and first impressions deserve praise. Placing the glasses where they should be you experience no discomfort. You just have to insert iPhone into cradle and start watching. Later you can customize the sharpness, insert the devices adapter in order to prevent it from dangling and jumping out and charge the accessory. Well, let us look at everything in order.

The display resolution is 640x480 pixels for each eye, which is the maximum at the moment. According to the manufacturer these glasses belong to the top price-bracket, thus itll be even funnier to talk about the experience from their use. One of the model specific features is the ability to adjust the corrective vision for each eye from +3.5 to -3.5 diopters, controls for this feature are placed on the glasses internal side.


As manufacturer claims the operation time is about 4 hours; it takes the glasses about 2.5 hours to charge from empty to full via USB. In real life I failed to squeeze 4 hours from them, after full charging I watched (to be more precise turned on and left the glasses aside) the 20-minutes film, then 3 parts of a TV serial, each 25 minutes long. Then indicator started to twinkle. Probably the glasses would have been able to stand one more part but you shouldnt count on more than 3 hours plus.


As per official information you are supposed to have an experience of watching a movie on the 46 screen 2-metres away from it. In fact, you feel yourself locked a in a small room with dirty canvas hung on the wall and rather mediocre projector showing some sort of film. Image is flabby, evidently lacking sharpness and contrast, and adjustment does not help. Moreover, many viewers, excited at first (wow, something new!), then suffer from a sharp rejection, dizziness, nausea and premature birth. In fact, the brain is likely to feel so cheated that it drastically requires to stop that bullying.

Ive tried to watch Ghost in the Shell, but after ten minutes I tore the glasses off my head and swore to have nothing to do with any device of this kind ever again. There is enough stress in the life without it.


It is quite a problem to imagine a scenario where this device would be used. Suppose you have a long flight. You are in the first class, you take your Carl Zeiss Cinemizer out and start watching a movie. Three hours later the battery runs out and you need to charge it. Well, you put the glasses in the charger, take out a laptop and continue your movie using it or another portable device. Just like PSP or iPad. That doesnt matter.

What matters is that now, some laptops are capable of working in video mode for more than ten hours. That refers not only to extremely expensive models, but also to those quite affordable. There are also players with wide screen display, working for a long time. There is, after all, the same iPad. The scenario of using the glasses during a flight is a fiction from the beginning to end.

So what can we do? Walk along the street wearing the glasses and watching the film? Use this gadget in public transport? Have an hour break at work? Things like that sound ridiculous. It is a mystery why we need this magical gadget. It is another mystery when it is purchase by someone at a price point varying from 330-390 Euro.

Its a piece of slag rather than a gadget.

The author thanks iCult.ru for providing Carl Zeiss Cinemizer Plus for testing.

Do you want to talk about this? Please, go to our Forum and let your opinion to be known to the author and everybody else.

Sergei Kuzmin (skuzmin@mobile-review.com)
Twitter    Livejournal

Published - 26 April 2010 .

Have something to add?! Write us... eldar@mobile-review.com



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