Published on January 13th, 2020 | by Emergent Enterprise0
CES 2020 Proved VR and AR are Thriving
Businesses are reaching the AR/VR/MR crossroads. How do they decide to implement these new technologies effectively within their own workplaces? As Jeremy Horwitz reports at VentureBeat, CES gave any company a myriad of options and ideas to make AR or VR a reality. Certainly there is some risk involved but the tech is becoming more affordable and more powerful and offers a better UX. What more does a company need?
Image Credit: Jeremy Horwitz/VentureBeat
Virtual and augmented reality have had a rough few years: Pundits tried to proclaim VR “dead” despite growing consumer interest and sales, while AR’s high prices and limited utility relegated dozens of competing headsets into various “enterprise” niches. If you believed the naysayers, mixed reality was just a fad that should have been over by now.
CES 2020 proved the anti-VR and anti-AR crowds wrong — profoundly wrong, in my view. Walking through the North, Central, and South Halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center, I found mixed reality technologies all over the place, and not just from the expected players. Major automakers, peripheral developers, and streaming companies were all showing off VR- and AR-ready solutions, many of which were actually exciting. This show was easily the best VR and AR event I’ve attended, both because of and despite the fact that I had to walk miles in the real world to see the state of the art in mixed reality technologies.
Here are some of the most compelling VR and AR topics from this year’s CES.
Automotive VR and AR
The image above illustrates the broad sweep of VR at CES — this year wasn’t just about one headset in a booth, or one demo tucked away in a corner, but rather groups of people using mixed reality to “experience” new innovations for themselves. As one example, Hyundai used eight Pimax widescreen VR headsets to let booth visitors experience a ride in its S-A1 flying taxi, a real version of which was suspended in the air, as shown below. This was just one of quite a few VR experiences offered at CES 2020 by automakers, with a particularly solid use case for offering virtual rather than real experiences.
Above: While throngs of visitors gawked at a real, life-size version of Hyundai’s S-A1 flying taxi, eight people could use VR glasses to experience a flying Uber ride for themselves.Image Credit: Jeremy Horwitz/VentureBeat
By comparison, what initially appeared to be a Honda VR autonomous driving simulator instead turned out to be a nine-minute story about the next 15 years of automotive advances, told with VR. Honda used cartoony but completely 3D VR to show off technologies such as “swarm” vehicle-to-vehicle traffic coordination in emergencies, and car windows that could serve as shopping displays or “soothing” views of the galaxy for passengers.