More augmented/virtual reality at CES 2018

January 11, 2018 // By William Wong
AR/VR developments on display at this year’s CES go beyond new hardware, offering up intriguing solutions- and applications-oriented advances such as healthcare training and 3D messaging.

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) fit in with the glitz and glamour of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Evidence of it can be seen with all of the AR and VR head-mounted displays (HMDs) popping up throughout the space. The market has changed significantly from hiccups like Google Glass, which has actually been revived for industrial use. The challenge is that AR and VR cover a wide range of systems and applications.

Fig. 1: Pico Interactive’s Eagle headset features over-ear,
noise-cancelling headphones and a removable
high-definition OLED display band.

One area is the virtual home theater. Pico Interactive’s “Eagle” is a lightweight mobile headset featuring over-ear, noise-cancelling headphones and a high-definition OLED display band (Fig. 1). The removable OLED microdisplay, developed by Kopin, measures 0.49 in. and has 720p resolution. It provides the equivalent of an 80-in. screen viewed from 10 feet. The advantage of the system is that it lets users maintain situational awareness of their surroundings.

Apple and Google released AR software development kits (SDKs) for their platforms. Microsoft has also been pushing its Windows Mixed Reality based on technology developed for its Hololens. A

Fig. 2: The HMD Odyssey from Samsung works with
Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality framework.

number of mixed-reality headsets support this software framework, including devices from HP, Dell, Acer, and Samsung. Samsung's HMD Odyssey (Fig. 2) weighs in at 1.4 lb., including AKG headphones. The AMOLED displays have 2880- by 1600-pixel resolution. Among its features are a 110-deg. field of view and a 90-frame/s refresh rate.