VR and AR continue to simmer at CES 2022

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It’s been, somehow, inexplicably, impossibly nearly ten years since the original Oculus Rift hit Kickstarter.

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After a decade of development, VR headsets have gotten better and better — but it’s safe to say that at this point, the adoption of VR will be… gradual. If we all had headsets (be they VR, AR, or some mix of the two) strapped to our faces, it would be less of a one-big thing* and more would result in a thousand small steps. a beat saber here; There’s a supernatural being. Incrementally better/lighter/faster headset. Maybe people are used to using headset for training purposes at work. Maybe everyone suddenly agrees on what the Metaverse is all about.

This bit-by-bit progression proved true at CES this year. There was a lot of VR/AR news, none of it earth-shattering – but a second step in progress.


(*A potential meteoric hit, of course, if Apple does what it loves to do and swoops in as of late, drops its version, and turns the category on its head. This rumor has been around for a while.) Is.)

Let’s revisit the biggest VR/AR bits of the show.

Sony PS VR2

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image credit: Sony

We’ve known for some time that Sony is working on a next-generation headset for the PlayStation 5, running on the PS VR headset released in 2016. But beyond a kind light “We’re working on it!” in early 2021 and some details about the controllers a few months later, he didn’t share many specifics.

They’re still keeping some cards close by, but they shared a few more details on what is now officially known as PS VR2. As if:

  • Its resolution will be 2000×2040 per eye
  • At 110 degrees versus 96, it’ll have a wider field of view than the first-gen headset.
  • Its refresh rate will be 90/120 Hz.
  • It will be able to track your eye movements, potentially allowing you to do things like highlight interface elements just by looking at them.
  • It will support foveated rendering, which is a fancy way of saying that it can use processing power more efficiently by prioritizing the rendering of whatever is at the center of your vision.
  • They’re making new controllers for it (pictured below) with finger detection and the PS5’s mind-bending adaptive triggers.

image credit: Sony

What will the headset look like? Unknown! When will it actually ship? TBD! But the PS VR is one of the few headsets that rivals the same oculus Meta Quest in terms of ease of use, it’s good to see Sony continue to build on here.

HTC Vive Wrist Tracker

image credit: HTC Vive

What is the best way to handle input in VR? Most popular headsets have settled on some sort of controller in each hand. what if you only own Hand controller, instead?

Hand tracking is not a new idea at all. Companies have come and gone with hand tracking as their primary focus.

But here HTC’s approach is a little different. Instead of relying solely on cameras, they’re hoping you’ll tie sensor-packed bands to each wrist to help the system track things that cameras can’t see — such as when one hand obscures the other. Or you’ve got a hand behind you for a golf swing. The company also demonstrated the sensor working when attached to other objects like ping pong pedals and a NERF gun.

The company says the sensor should start shipping later this year for $129. a catch? For now, at least, it will only work with HTC’s Vive Focus 3 headset.

Shiftal MegaX

image credit: shiftol

VR headsets have gotten a whole lot smoother over the years, but they’re still pretty beefy. However, how small can they really be?

Panasonic’s subsidiary Shiftall is working on an “ultra-lightweight, ultra-high-resolution” headset called Meganex. With speakers built into the frame and a 1.3″ (2560×2560) display for each eye, they look more like a giant pair of steampunk sunglasses than a headset. Although designed to be lightweight and foldable, don’t expect to move around Very A lot of these – you have to connect them to the computer via USB-C to do the heavy graphical lifting.

Shiftall says these should ship this year for “under $900.”

Microsoft partners with Qualcomm for AR chips

image credit: Qualcomm

Microsoft already uses Qualcomm chips for its HoloLens headset, but the companies made things a little more official this week. At a Qualcomm keynote it was announced that the two would work together to develop chips built specifically for use in AR headsets, which stated that the chips would be available on each of their augmented reality development platforms (Microsoft Mesh and Snapdragon space) support.

nvidia omnibus

image credit: NVIDIA

It’s not flashy hardware, but it’s potentially important on the software side of things: Nvidia this week opened up Omniverse, a collection of tools to help 3D content creators work together in real time.

In his post on the news, Frederic Lardinois writes:

omniverse Nvidia’s platform allows creators, designers, and engineers to collaboratively create virtual worlds. It is the company’s platform that brings design tools and assets from first- and third-party applications into a single hardware and software ecosystem. Until now, the Omniverse and the various Nvidia tools that support it were in beta, but today at CES, the company removed the beta label and made Omniverse generally available to creators.

TCL’s AR Glasses

This mostly sounds like a concept for now, so… well, don’t fall in love right now. But TV/phone/air conditioner maker TCL is venturing into the AR glass space, offering something similar to Google Glass in a package that looks like a standard pair of specs. “Holographic optical waveguide technology” pushes visuals onto the lens and into your field of view, and their concept above promises touch-based controls built into the video frame.

Read more about CES 2022 on TechCrunch

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