After the metaverse erupts, will the VR/AR frenzy be far behind?

From PSVR 2 to chip partnerships and smart glasses, what changes does CES hint at for AR and VR in 2022?

Recently, at CES2022, which is known as the Olympic Games in the field of consumer electronics, the long-disappeared VRAR took the east wind of the Metaverse and once again became active at the exhibition.

For example, TCL, which has often “delayed” in recent years, has released two smart glasses products at this CES – TCL NXTWEAR AIR and TCL LEINIAO AR; and VRAR virtual reality industry leader Sony is also at the exhibition. The latest PS VR2 product information was displayed; at the same time, Panasonic, another Japanese manufacturer, and its hatched Shiftall company also launched three VR-related products at CES2022, including a VR eye and two glasses-related products. Matching ecological hardware. In addition, Microsoft, Valve, Qualcomm, HTC and other companies that have been active in this field all year round, it is natural to show their products at CES.

After the metaverse erupts, will the VR/AR frenzy be far behind?

The VRAR track will be lively again in 2022. However, just like playing poker, no one will throw the “King Zhuang” out of the game, and these companies will never show all their cards at the Consumer Electronics Show, but we can still get some clues from CES, roughly See some key changes in the VRAR track in the coming year.

Change 1: The entertainment journey of home VR begins to break the ice

“The best use of VR equipment must be at home, and eventually every family will experience the entertainment life of the movie “Ready Player One”.” Sony’s on-site staff at the CES exhibition said. “However, due to hardware equipment and price factors, VR equipment experience is relatively good in shopping malls, and VR use has never really approached families.”

The PlayStation 5 VR headset revealed by Sony at CES this time, although the official did not give much information except the name and some performance specifications, but one thing is certain, PSVR 2 is not an independent like Oculus Quest 2. However, considering the price of PS5 and its still difficult to buy state, this will greatly limit the scale of people who experience home VR entertainment.

After the metaverse erupts, will the VR/AR frenzy be far behind?

But it does bring several advancements to home VR: First, it features eye-tracking, which improves the quality of VR images through a technique called “pit rendering,” and may even allow for eye-based controls in games . And it may have even more convincing haptic feedback, through haptic-equipped headsets and controllers that will use Sony’s already-impressed DualSense controller technology, and Sony has built new VR games for VR entertainment that can also rely on its hardware Along with its gaming partnerships and the upcoming release of Unreal Engine 5, it’s sparking a wave of VR gaming crazes.

Change 2: AR glasses market is about to change

Microsoft has been involved in VR and AR for years, but its multi-year HoloLens 2 headset remains an expensive, business-focused outlier. At CES, Qualcomm made a surprise announcement that it would be partnering with Qualcomm to develop smaller glasses that could potentially work on phones and Windows devices, combining Microsoft’s current efforts in cross-platform software with Qualcomm’s manufacturing for Android Phone glasses are planned to combine.

This is interesting because while Android already allows for tons of AR and smart glasses accessories, phones still lack the smart software to work with AR glasses, and so far Google’s Android has never officially developed any deepin OS-level AR glasses kits . And Apple, while it has AR software and tools for phones and is expected to launch VR/AR glasses later this year, has yet to get iOS to work well with the glasses.

After the metaverse erupts, will the VR/AR frenzy be far behind?

In fact, Google was once a VR/AR hardware head manufacturer, and Google’s Glass was a pioneer of smart glasses. So can Google return to the market with Apple? Could Microsoft not make its own phones, but partnering with Qualcomm, potentially redefine the market before more competitors enter this year? Obviously the answer is yes.

Change 3: The smart glasses market is hot again

In fact, the type of smart glasses that Qualcomm has been bullish about has arrived: Lenovo’s ThinkReality A3 and Nreal Light showed off the capabilities of small embedded AR glasses last year, but the software and inputs (and compatibility with my own glasses fit) haven’t Appear. TCL is working on its own AR glasses, as well as a smaller version of smart glasses with a display that I tried last year.

Vuzix, a company that makes industrial smart glasses and AR devices, has a very ordinary-looking pair of 3D AR glasses with tiny LED displays that are expected to be deployed in shipping centers and other places. The Vuzix Shield has a monochrome display, but the next version is aiming for full color.

However, there are still some problems with smart glasses currently, such as limited battery life, sometimes difficult input (hand control technology is not perfect, and other glasses use touch screen, or mobile phone as a touch screen, there is no standard type of controller), and compared to ordinary glasses Unusual optical or formulation constraints. On top of that, though, most phones don’t currently support glasses to facilitate switching experiences between phone screens and glasses, which may depend on future changes to their operating systems by Google or Apple.

At the same time, VR headsets are getting smaller and smaller. A pair of goggle-like virtual reality glasses from Panasonic subsidiary Shiftall suggests that hardware may soon begin to blur the lines between headsets and glasses.

Change 4: The new AR/VR device will be transferred to the wrist

HTC’s latest production Vive wristband tracker isn’t a full VR controller replacement, but it’s a tiny microcosm of how all these headsets are starting to experiment with controllers and inputs. VR has been stuck with game controller-like interfaces for a few years now, and companies like Meta have started to move to wrist-based controls as smaller headsets and AR glasses have become the norm. HTC downsized its VR hardware last year with its Flow goggles, which are more like glasses.

After the metaverse erupts, will the VR/AR frenzy be far behind?

The Vive Tracker is more for tracking the hand while using other objects, like the fire hose in the firefighting VR training app on the HTC Vive Focus 3, which is what these wristband trackers are designed for. The trackers can be combined or placed on other objects or other parts of the body, according to Dan O’Brien, head of HTC Vive operations. These trackers are currently limited to two at a time, but the goal is to keep tracking more things, such as whole bodies, or multiple objects in a room.

Speaking of which, I’m curious, what will Apple use as a controller for its upcoming VR headset? Why is Meta releasing a watch? Maybe a wrist-based AR/VR device isn’t far off.


“The AR, VR future coming in 2022: What we learned from CES”

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