The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the pinnacle event for reveals of new technology, professional networking and startup exhibiting. The main building was flush with a showcase of automation technology and software, including new smart safety features from Nvidia (which powers Tesla's driverless technology), driverless concept cars from VW, the notorious Faraday Future FF91 reveal. But to us at Beyond Reality, there's really only one thing we're interested in, one vessel of future technology that will always having us wanting more: VR. Here are some little tidbits of VR being used at CES:
Samsung ran a "Gear VR 4D Experience" where visitors could sign up to embark on virtual micro-adventures as the rock a skeleton track, compete in a race through space, raft down a wild river and get whirled around in a flight simulator. Attempting to show off the power of mobile VR, Samsung demoed how the Gear VR can be used to create convicing and exciting experiences despite it's simpler technology.
Volkswagen set up a VR station with a Leap Motion a hand-tracking sensor to simulate a virtual drive in one of their vehicles, demonstrating new safety and automation features within the experience.
Denso, Toyota's primary parts manufacturer, beefed up their CES marketing efforts by creating an assembly line VR mini-game for attendees using the HTC Vive. It was implied that VR technology could help assembly line workers control production equipment via VR in the future or even be trained using the tech. The HTC Vive's highly accurate room scale body tracking tech is perfect for operating quickly under conditions that require lag-free interactivity. You can see how Beyond Reality uses this precise room-scale tech to it's fullest advantage here.
Industrial and training applications seemed to be a trend among CES 2017 exhibitors. One company, Vizix was showing off the practical workplace applications for it's AR smart lens glasses, particularly in the construction and medical spaces, where AR software could assist professionals with on-screen 3D models of the walls they are hoisting or the surgical procedures they're undertaking.
On the startup and innovation side of the CES showfloor, GoTouchVR was demoing their "haptic" technology - that is, VR accessories that simulate the feeling of touch via their two-fingered touch glove. As attendees used Leap Motion technology combined with the GoTouchVR, they physically felt objects in a campfire simulation. They were then asked to put their hand into the fire, and when most attendees hesitated, it was clear that the technology had created a whole new level of immersion for VR users.
Another startup, Feel VR, experimented with motion simulators for VR headsets, their primary offering being a drivers' seat that vibrates and twists realistically to support driving, flight, and rollercoaster simulations. The hardware is also designed to be integrated with video playback, meaning you could effectively end up having your own personal D-Box theatre in your own home. The Feel VR system will retail for approximately $3500 USD.
There was an ocean of other VR products and accessories being demoed at CES 2017, including new affordable 360 cameras and mobile VR headsets, and if this post was fully robust it'd be almost infinite. VR is definitely here to stay, with more and more mainstream brands integrating VR into their marketing efforts and an increasing number of startups trying to bring new innovations to the VR space. We can barely contain our excitement for next year's CES!