In this new segment, we bring you the last week’s highlights from within the immersive tech industry.
First up this week we’re looking at a brand new mixed reality device from camera giant Canon. The MREAL S1 is a mixed reality pass-through device around the size of your average smartphone.
The S1 feature’s two sets of stereoscopic cameras. One set for the pass-through image and the other set for depth estimation that enables the mixed reality content to be accurately placed in the physical world. The device can be attached to the supplied head strap for a hands-free experience or held out in front of the user in the same way that you’d consume AR content through your smartphone.
Canon first published images of a mixed reality headset back in 2013. The device was called the HM-A1 and was rumoured to cost $125,000 and require an on-going $25,000 annual licence fee. There isn’t a huge amount of information available about the new device just yet, however, from what we’ve been able to find out, it seems to be focused on enterprise applications rather than the consumer. If you’re interested in having a closer look Canon have opened up an application page on their Japanese website to be in with a chance of having an advanced demo from December this year.
Next up we’re sticking with Mixed Reality and an extremely affordable option from Zappar who plan to bring MR to the masses with the Zapbox, a 6DOF mixed reality and virtual reality device for only $40!
Zappar first brought the Zapbox to market following a successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2016. This new iteration however has had a complete redesign, doing away with the google cardboard style aesthetic and instead opting for a radical new patent-pending plastic design. The experiences are delivered through the users' smartphone which is inserted into the headset. It comes with an ultra-wide camera adapter, a set of 6DoF controllers enabling more immersive interactions and a set of world anchor markers for accurate placement of content.
There’s an SDK that makes use of Unity’s new XR plugin framework which will expose ZapBox support to Unity developers for the first time ever. Devs will be able to build native apps and publish directly to iOS and Android. And if you’re not a hardcore developer, don’t worry as it also comes with ZapWorks which features an intuitive interface for quickly building and testing mixed reality content. And probably best of all content can be viewed through multiple devices at the same time enabling shared experiences.
The Kickstarter campaign is live now, so head on over and give the guys at Zappar the backing they deserve!
Next up we can announce that there’s a brand new location-based VR experience coming to a city near you in 2021.
JUMP is the result of a two-year stealth development project from James Jensen, better known as the co-founder and creator of The VOID. The company published its website this week at www.limitlessflight.com. The site features some pretty cool images of a striking red skydiving helmet with integrated VR headset and illustrates that the user will don a fully certified wingsuit. There aren’t a huge amount of details beyond this, but based on the 4D enhancements that Jensen was involved with at the VOID we’re assuming that you can expect similar things here. The JUMP team features an experienced technical team, as well as veteran skydiver Marshall Miller who has performed over 10,000 real jumps and Luke Aikins who holds the record for the highest jump without a parachute. With this in mind, we’re sure you can expect a high-octane experience with the thrillseeker in mind who perhaps doesn’t quite have the ambition to throw themselves out of a real plane.
Find out more by visiting limitlessflight.com
And finally this week, we want to highlight Reality Check, a brand new book that illustrates how VR and AR can transform your business and organisation. The book is written by PWC UK's head of VR and AR - Jermey Dalton and brings to life real-life applications from over 50 different businesses that are making use of the technology today. In addition it covers off everything from Learning and Development, sales and marketing and operations. As well featuring handy tips on how to create quality 360º video content and justification on why you should be using this technology right now!
The book is on pre-order over at realitycheckxr.com, and you can even receive 20% off your order by subscribing to the mailing list.