Royole is not exactly a household name. But with its Royole Moon 3D Virtual Mobile Theater, you’ll likely be hearing lots more about it. For starters, let’s make it absolutely clear that this is not, repeat not, another virtual reality (VR) headset. The image will not change as you move your head. And you are less likely to become nauseous while using it. It is an amazingly sharp portable immersive entertainment experience. Royole is better known in the industry as a technology company specializing in high quality, small-sized, screen display technology, and not necessarily a consumer electronics maker.
Unlike most other portable theater experiences we’ve seen, the Royole Moon integrates its display with a set of high-quality, noise-cancelling headphones. That makes it an ideal traveling device to go with you on planes or trains. Royole provides you with a choice of what it calls “immersion masks,” the thing that provides a tight fit between your face and the dual eyepiece display. That dual 1080p High Definition display is the highlight of the device. Royole says it’s the equivalent of an 800″ curved theater screen. It has a pixel density of 3000 Pixels Per Inch. And it has a very fast refresh rate so there’s no lag time while watching your movie. Sound quality is quite good, though I could wish for a little more volume, which was fine on the pre-recorded clips I saw, but low on the movies I downloaded from my own collection.
The Moon has two separate parts, the display/headphones combo, and a box about the size of a smartphone that includes a rechargeable power supply as well as 32GB of storage, and inputs for a mini-HDMI and micro-USB. That allows you to plug in your own content from a variety of sources, including a Blu-Ray player or some smartphones. You can also download movies from your own collection, though the device does not play all file formats.
Buttons, Swipes, and Other Controls
Because of my less than perfect vision, and small distance between my pupils, I often have trouble adjusting binoculars or opera glasses. No problem with the Moon. Each eyepiece has a diopter, as well as separate controls for pupillary distance. That makes for a very comfortable viewing experience, without the sensation that there’s something slightly off. The newer immersion mask they are supplying also improves the experience. Also on the headset are buttons that flip between 3D and 2D viewing, as well as a button to bring you back to the home screen. I was extremely impressed with the 3D quality. Watching a clip from Avatar was better than I remember it at an Imax theater.
Most of the other controls are on the right-hand earpiece. You control volume by moving your finger around the outside of the touch sensitive pad. Forward and backward are controlled by right and left swipes and presses. Moving between menu items involves swiping up and down. To select, you press on the center of the earpiece. Unfortunately, I found the control surfaces somewhat difficult to master. My arthritic fingers no longer give me the fine motor control to make this a smooth experience. If they do a Moon V2, I’d suggest putting some control buttons or arrows on the power supply box. Not only would they allow better control, but they wouldn’t be as awkward as constantly fiddling with your earpiece.
The Moon folds up to become no larger than a large pair of headphones. That makes it feasible to get into your backpack for a plane flight. In order to have a shot at this Moon, you’ll need to come up with $799. It does come in a choice of three colors: black, white, and gold. There are other devices that integrate the audio and video in one immersive device including the Avegant Glyph for $499 and Royole’s own Royole-X for $699.
Royole presents the Moon as an “immersive entertainment experience.” From that perspective, it does not disappoint. The display is close to spectacular. The 800″ curved space is certainly immersive. And the noise-cancelling headphones provide good insulation from the world around you. This is a luxury device, but I can see taking these with me on any airline flight. They might even make it tolerable to be stuck in a middle seat. Maybe.
Here’s the company’s video introduction: