Canon announces that their augmented reality system, the MREAL headset, is due for release March 1st nationwide.
Augmented reality is becoming a hot topic in the tech sphere, especially after Google‘s release of the Google Glass. Now Canon has announced that they plan on releasing their”mixed reality, or MREAL, headset March 1st.
Unlike the Google Glass, the MREAL does not project information on transparent displays. Instead it takes a picture of the user’s surroundings, runs it through a computer that supplies the virtual elements and then delivers the live-feed to the dual displays mounted on the user’s face. In essence, it combines reality with virtual objects that the user creates. While it cannot be worn all day, it delivers a very clear 3-D generated image that practically blends in with the actual surroundings. This may not be entirely useful for regular consumers just yet, but it is excellent for product developers who want to see how their design works in a room. It may also be helpful for other professionals like interior designers who can allow their customers to “see” what the finished product will look like. There are many uses for this form of augmented reality and the system’s impact could potentially be felt on all levels. Inventors can create a realistic mockup of their product without creating a prototype. Show floors could use the MREAL augmented reality for demonstrations. The possibilities are endless.
At the moment, the MREAL system is priced at $125,000 and users must pay a $25,000 annual maintenance fee. The pricing is definitely not individual and small product developer friendly. However, with the release of the Google Glass and talks of other future augmented reality systems, it’s possible that the price will drop low enough that it will be priced at a more manageable and start up-friendly price.
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