The CES 2023 Immersive Tech Round-Up
Last week, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2023 kicked off its yearly event by bringing leading firms and representatives together to discuss emerging technology trends and innovations. CES 2023 occurred between January 5 – 8 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Various extended reality (XR) firms joined the show to showcase the latest augmented, virtual, and mixed reality (AR/VR/MR) solutions.
CES 2023 allows XR firms to express the benefit of enterprise-grade immersive solutions for various vertical markets like healthcare, tourism, training, and education.
The CES 2023 showroom hosts many immersive firms, related prototypes, and market-ready XR devices. CES 2023 also allowed various thought leaders to take the stage to discuss topics in the emerging landscape.
CES 2023: Fresh AR/VR Hardware
Amongst the many hardware announcements, Metaverse platform provider Somnium Space introduced a tailor-made MR headset.
The firm introduced its VR1 headset and an accompanying developer model at the event. Somnium Space designed its device to enable high-quality VR graphics and MR passthrough visualisations.
Somnium Space included various hardware considerations to power an MR headset that competes with major industry players like Meta, PICO, and HTC VIVE.
The device contains the following specifications:
- A 2880 × 2880 display resolution
- The device also has a horizontal FOV of 120 degrees and a vertical FOV of 100 degrees
- The device powers MR visuals using two 120 × 100 passthrough cameras
- Hand tracking
- Eye tracking
- The VR1 headset allows operators to access PCVR titles via wireless desktop streaming
- SteamVR and OpenXR support
In a statement, Artur Sychov, the CEO of Somnium Space, explained that his firm designed the VR1 headset for enthusiasts who want to fully customise their VR hardware experience.
He also added:
Due to supply chain constraints and more complex than expected negotiations with key suppliers, Somnium Space has decided to focus its efforts fully on a PCVR headset for its first release and postpone release of a standalone version. Somnium continues R&D for a standalone version of VR1 headset and will bring more information after official release of PCVR version in 2023.
CES 2023: Lightweight Hardware for a New Immersive Generation
Additionally, NOLO VR unveiled a new in-development lightweight VR headset. The device comes with finger-ring-style microcontrollers, which provide deeper immersion when users interact with spatial environments and menus.
The device also has an integrated 4K display, cloud-based VR content libraries, touch controls, and adjustable pupil distance features.
Industrial smart glasses manufacturer Vuzix won multiple awards at CES 2023 for its latest lightweight AR device.
The firm debuted its Ultralite turnkey solution, a pair of enterprise-grade smart glasses with several features, including language translation, directions, messaging, and workout routines.
The Vuzix Ultralite device weighs roughly 38 grammes, has a two-day battery life, monocular waveguide optics & custom micro display engine for crisp visuals, a hands-free display of a user’s integrated smartphones information, consideration for operator eyewear, and prescription lenses.
In November, the firm announced that the Vuzix Ultralite device won the CES 2023 Innovation Award for Wearable Technology.
HTC VIVE Announce Major Meta Quest Competitor
Keeping in line with CES’ VR headset showcases, HTC VIVE debuted a mobile XR device, bringing direct competition to the Meta Quest immersive hardware portfolio.
The firm revealed XR Elite, a device that allows operators to enjoy high-quality VR and MR graphics via its full-colour passthrough feature.
HTC is marketing its new product as a convertible and compact “all-in-one XR headset.” Operators can change the device’s frame, converting the XR Elite from a headset to a smart glasses frame.
The XR Elite headset also contains a 1920 pixels per eye resolution to support highly detailed immersive VR/MR applications and environments.
The XR Elite’s 6 DoF inside-out tracking, 90 Hz refresh rate, and up to 110-degree FOV enable users to explore immersive environments fully.
HTC VIVE’s currently unreleased device could bring new competition towards the Meta Quest Pro.
Aside from its hardware and mobility features, the XR Elite headset contains up to 15 hours of battery life, much higher than the Quest Pro’s 1-2 hours.
Also, the device comes integrated with HTC’s Metaverse service, VIVEVERSE, ready at launch.
HTC VIVE’s Metaverse experience mirrors Meta’s Horizon service, enabling users to enjoy a range of bespoke immersive spaces, from live events to enterprise-grade remote collaboration rooms.
HTC made its XR Elite product available for pre-orders, starting at £1,299.00.
VITURE One Smart Glasses Showcase
Another potential industry-shaking product is the VITURE One smart glasses.
CES officials chose the device as an honoree of the aforementioned CES 2023 Innovation Award.
The device lets users stream gaming content as an immersive visualisation, displaying chosen media on a 120-inch virtual screen.
The lightweight, 78-gramme form factor device allows users to stream content from services like Netflix for an immersive viewing experience.
VITURE One smart glasses also contain various integrated solutions to heighten a user’s experience. For example, the device uses HARMAN spatial audio technologies to remove noise leakage. The headset also features brightness and background adjustments for optimal video playback.
David Jiang, VITURE’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive, also said:
Although, if VITURE were to take on Nreal’s place in the market, the device must work to establish a similar content offering to Nreal’s list of immersive broadcasting opportunities.
But VITURE could place its foot in the steep marketplace with its unique MR smart glasses product.
CES 2023: RealWear Debut Navigator 520
Moreover, industrial immersive technology firm RealWear announced an update to its popular Navigator series of assistive reality frontline tools.
RealWear’s Navigator 520 builds upon its previous iteration with integrated features and brand-new display technology.
The device’s HyperDisplay component allows frontline workers to leverage a 720p high-definition (HD) display.
Hyperdisplay allows the Navigator 520 device to display important workplace resources of much higher quality, especially essential for manuals or CADs.
The Navigator 520’s HyperDisplay also increases viewability, allowing a broader range of workers to leverage the firm’s technology for expanded use cases.
Darren Crowder, Head of TruServices & Smart Services at TRUMPF U.S. [a RealWear end-client], explained how the HyperDisplay helps “customers tremendously, especially with identifying minute details during critical times.”
HyperDisplay also increases the device series’ FOV to 24 degrees, eye-relief to 30mm, eye-box to 14x14mm, and improves its display size to 0.35 inches.
In addition to the HyperDisplay feature, the Navigator 520 contains a 48-megapixel camera system, a hot-swappable battery, and Bluetooth integration; while leveraging the firm’s 2022 innovations, such as thermal imaging.
AjnaLens Debut MR Goggles and Metaverse Product
Indian provider of XR technology AjnaLens debuted new MR and Metaverse products at this year’s event.
The firm debuted its AjnaXR and AjnaVidya products which aim to revitalise the region’s XR opportunities for developers, users, and businesses.
AjnaXR is a pair of MR goggles that aim to up-skill or re-skill individuals ready for the workplace.
The lightweight device has a 5K resolution, measuring 2280 x 2280 pixels per eye. The AjnaXR product also runs on a Qualcomm XR2 processor to power high-quality MR applications.
Moreover, the firm designed its upcoming immersive product to suit enterprise usage, with deep security considerations.
The device does not require individual sign-ins. Therefore, the AjnaXR device keeps a user’s or business’ data secure and private while also facilitating easy log-ins that increase employee accessibility and improves onboarding sessions.
Additionally, AjnaLens is preparing an enterprise edition of its product that integrates eye and hand-tracking technology.
Ajnalens’ upcoming Metaverse product AjnaVidya is debuting alongside the AjnaXR product.
AjnaLens describes the accompanying service as an “all-inclusive XR ecosystem” which nurtures the region’s immersive application and talent pool growth.
The AjnaVidya platform allows participating XR developers to upload custom immersive learning content, without an upfront fee, onto Ajnalens’ unified platform for others to access.
AjnaLens allows prospective buyers to pre-order the base consumer AjnaXR model via its official website.
CES 2023: Canon to Frontline Immersive Filmmaking
Is VR going Hollywood? The answer is yes; if anything, immersive solutions are already deep in the mainstream motion picture industry.
Many XR filmmaking solutions are already finding homes as a new tool for directors and producers.
But as the movie industry meets a new age, long-time, trusted camera hardware leaders Canon look to swoop in to lead the next filmmaking revolution.
Canon is teaming up with famed Director M Night Shyamalan to collaborate on his upcoming Knock at the Cabin film.
The firm is producing an accompanying immersive experience to leverage Canon’s Free Viewpoints video system.
Canon debuted the product at CES 2023, where the firm wished to deepen communication, collaboration, and imagination for attendees.
Canon’s Free Viewpoints video system uses multiple cameras to capture data from the interlinked system to produce 3D replicas of objects from nearly all angles.
The firm believes the system benefits in-person events in major stadiums, studios, and arenas. The solution lets broadcasters stream 3D visualisations of an event, viewable from multiple angles, for users at home.
Moreover, Canon debuted MReal at CES 2023. The software solution helps to render realistic colours for an immersive media broadcast.
CES 2023: Closing Thoughts
CES 2023 had many XR innovations to showcase. Aside from the noted immersive solutions, brands like Sony, LG, and Magic Leap had offerings on show.
The scale of XR appears to be ever-growing, and the immersive industry, despite a rocky H2 last year, seems to be coming on strong.