So I was very pleased to see the BeBop Sensors Forte Wireless Data Glove system, a fully featured affordable data glove to incorporate haptics and super accurate, rapid sensing for gaming and AR/VR environments for a more realistic VR experience. The hand tracking system tracks fingers and fingertips with haptics, the Forte Glove is an ultra-comfortable one-size-fits-all glove, conducive to lengthy Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality sessions due to its light weight and open airy design. Light and simple looking, it also can be worn inside a glove, for example. Sensing speed and accurately sensing finger movements are key features along with tactile feedback to the fingertips.
The glove provides Super Accurate Rapid Sensing with data rates at 150 frames per second. With lag time eliminated, triggering has near instantaneous response times -- perfect for the most demanding Applications and Games.
Looxid Labs explores the user's mind and their unspoken emotions! Using human physiological signal sensors, their VR Headset monitors your eyes and brainwaves to determine your emotion, attention and interest while watching VR content. Two eye tracking cameras and six brain-wave sensors are built into the specialised VR headset. Theoretically allows the tracking of what the user themselves can't describe. Potentially valuable use cases!
Similar to well established MyndPlay VR in the UK who have been doing this for a few years, but the MyndPlay brain sensors can be worn and user response analysed in conjunction with most existing VR headsets and the actual VR content can be triggered to change depending on user's emotion and reactions.
I am sometimes a skeptic about VR/AR gaming. Seems to be rather too techy and even often quite low resolution for my liking. And the storytelling and educational aspects often seem a bit lacking. But I would say that, being one who is always looking for the bigger story and valuable use cases rather than just for killing time. The Lenovo STAR WARS:Jedi Challenges technology and Smartphone games Application is of a different breed. Very clever how they use the smartphone at 45º in the headset in a way that lets you see the room you are in (visual see-through, not video) and then lets you play Star Wars Chess or challenge the various Star Wars charactors to Light Sabre duels. But first, to qualify to fight, you need to learn how to use a light sabre! Light Sabre Training also done well, and fun. The light sabre itself is stunning to look at and hold and in your virtual vision and hearing pops out just like in the movie. Lots of virtual charactors and action in your living room or kitchen. Virtual Star Wars charactors and in fact everything in your line of sight is life-sized and lifelike and of course, it is also taking place in the reality of your home setting. This is a great piece of technology Lenovo and a great gaming experience Disney! Fun, fun, fun. Credit goes to the partnership with Disney (and Lucasfilm) to produce interesting, authentic and compelling experiences. Oh yes, and an amazingly reasonable price of $199. to boot. More, More, More please Lenovo and Disney!
And in Lenovo's words:
Inspired by the Star Wars Holochess game shown in Star Wars: A New Hope, the Lenovo Mirage AR headset was built truly from the ground up to recreate an immersive augmented reality experience for Star War fans of all ages. Users were able to truly enjoy key moments in the Star Wars films – a new type of experience that had never existed until now.
Star Wars: Jedi Challenges lets fans live their dream of battling with a Lightsaber in augmented reality and other in-game experiences through the Skywalker Lightsaber and Lenovo Mirage AR headset.
This product comprises three pieces of hardware: The Lenovo Mirage AR headset, the Lightsaber controller and the Tracking Beacon.
* The Lenovo Mirage AR headset is an all-new augmented reality head mounted display (HMD) designed to give Star Wars fans an opportunity to recapture some of their favorite Star Wars moments.
* The Lightsaber Controller is a Lightsaber device that pairs with the Lenovo Mirage AR headset for fans to experience Star Wars in AR. The Lightsaber was intricately designed by Lucas film to be modeled after the Skywalker Lightsaber.
* The Tracking Beacon acts as a stable base and zero reference point for the sensors in Lenovo Mirage AR headset.
Starting price $199 at Best Buy and also available at Lenovo.com.
Vuzix stole the show with Best in Show AR Glasses at CES this year - the Vuzix Blade Smart Glasses. Also declared so by all the major technology news publications and networks. A full spec, non-tethered pair of glasses which will be targetted for the industrial/enterprise space due to the rich portfolio of applications that will already run on the Blade Smart Glasses (and initial price). They are also real evidence that proper consumer grade (style, price and function) AR glasses are just around the corner. Consumer applications writers, start your engines! These are certainly a potential prosumer “item” now with improvements in price and styling surely coming soon I suspect.
Vuzix also upgraded their well established M100 smart glasses now used by in many industrial applications, and showed a better, brighter M300 model complete with a suite of out-of-the-Box applications for industry. Ready to turn on and deploy - as easy as Click - Connect - Collaborate.
These two products will now move us rapidly from the Smartglasses technology emphasis of the past to the real world applications and valuable use cases.
Saw a really useful measuring device and Smartphone App which lets you spend less time thinking and more time creating your home improvements projects and in decorating your house. Met with Plott Founder and CEO David Xing at CES who demonstrated how the tool allows you to design “virtually” so you can change your design easily without marking up your walls. The Plott brings your design to life by guiding you to points like a GPS so you can then make the change or addition in the real world without any need for measurements or use of math. This reduces the time spent on DIY projects (and risk of error).
Plott takes the real world into the virtual world using AR where you can edit and perfect your idea before bringing it back into the real world. Use Plott to import objects and arrange it the way you want it. Then shows you the hanging points for perfectly level and eye-pleasing finished projects.
And you can then share your projects with the Plott community and also import and use projects from others or download from a product brand.
One of the first commercially available of the Smart Glasses is from Vuzix who is specifically targeting the professional, industrial and prosumer sectors with this product. Also seen from Vuzix at Showstoppers and on the CES exhibition floor was their next generation lens technology which could be the beginning of consumer appropriate see-through Smart Glasses. These enabling technologies will only take hold if a large number of valuable industrial and eventually consumer applications become available.
A wearable camera and near eye display coupled to context awareness enabling sensors, plus an open Android Applications platform able to store or connect to relevant information is a killer combination for enabling a wide range of valuable professional and industrial use cases. There is a ready market for this device. Desk-less, hands-free work environments are the killer sectors.
Making this unobtrusive, fashionable and even undetectable is the key to wide spread consumer use, simply because the value propositions already exist and are a high value subset of what smartphones are taken out and used for now, but will extend well beyond that when the consumer friendly, wearable technology becomes available.
Vuzix is breaking important new ground in both areas with their commercially available M100 monocular Smart Glass product and with thin, see through lens technology ready to deploy in normal looking consumer eyeglasses formats.
At CES 2014 they were showing Industrial Applications on the M100s developed by industrial partners and VAR’s.
They were also showing patented Waveguide lenses which will be used in their consumer Smart Glasses. Hopefully we will see these as products at CES2015 :-)