Canon goes Mixed Reality
Well, Canon has been going this way for a long time now. But now they announced their official product release of their Augmented Reality system for HMDs they call “Mixed Reality System” (or “CanonMR System”)! We presented the pre-releases at our conferences and I’m happy to see it rolled out finally! :-)
It will hit the market in July 2012 and will be presented once more pre-release end of June at the 3D and Virtual Reality Exibition. A first video (Japanese) was presented at Canon’s page, but now there is also an English video online, that I’d like to share today:
The cool thing about the Head-Mounted Display system is that it has great optics for a convincing augmentation and a rock-solid and stable tracking due to the combination of different approaches (sensor fusion), using gyros and markers for instance. The system allows different tracking approaches, though. It also comes with hand-masking to further improve the illusion of virtual objects fitting into the real environment perfectly.
Two problems that remain for a google glass like spread of the system: the price is not yet for consumer scenarios (you won’t find it in your next radio shack around the corner) and the device is still pretty bulky (though much slimmer than earlier versions) with a limited field of view. The optics do a great job to enhance the feeling of looking through the cameras (video see-through), but these prisms need some space and are too limited to cover, let’s say, a horizontal field of view of 160° (let’s dream on). :-) Canon described this in an interview as well.
There are English versions of the announcement for those who don’t speak Japanese, e.g. at the menafn page to browse through… or just enjoy the video and see us getting closer to real AR!