Even though there was hardly any mention of the word “metaverse”, CES 2023 still had a big showcase of the latest AR/VR tools, XR solutions for enterprise, and how industries planned on utilizing the technology moving forward. All without using the “M” word!
CES 2023 is officially over and this year we saw a big focus on how consumers, enterprise, and industries will access AR/VR experiences. What was interesting was the lack of the word “metaverse” with almost every presenter, hardware and software booth, and even with attendees.
One of the biggest announcements was from Nvidia and their Omniverse platform. What it would mean for the future of computing, robotics, automation and of course, gaming.
Apple wasn’t part of CES this year, but that didn’t mean people weren’t talking about the swirling rumors of a possible Apple mixed reality headset in 2023. At this point it’s still rumor but that didn’t stop people from talking about it.
Of course when it comes to XR headsets, HTC created the most buzz with their HTC Vive XR Elite mixed reality headset. A lot of positive response on this device and many were shocked with a price tag just over $1,000.
Not only did we see announcements from companies, but we also saw some interesting announcements from industries and how they are planning on adopting XR technology moving forward. Tom Emrich, Director of Product for Niantic put together a few of those announcements on his LinkedIn profile.
- Volkswagen unveiled its ID.7 Electric Sedan during CES featuring an augmented reality head-up display.
- Harman, a subsidiary of Samsung, unveiled its Ready Vision Augmented Reality Head-Up Display.
- Holoride launched a new device to retrofit any car with two HTC VIVE Flow VR headsets.
- BMW showcases a concept car, i Vision Dee, which explores the use of eink to change the color of the car paint and a Mixed Reality windshield.
- L’Oréal introduced L’Oréal Brow Magic is a printer that uses Augmented Reality to Draw Your Eyebrows On.
- Canon launched its flagship solution, Kokomo, is “a first-of-its-kind immersive VR software package” designed to combine VR with an immersive calling experience on a smartphone.
- Canon used its time on stage to showcase its immersive experience with M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming thriller movie, “Knock at the Cabin.
- Panasonic is also showcasing a VR experience at its booth called the Panasonic GREEN IMPACT Experience.
- Magic Leap touted its 2-story booth where they will exhibit eight of the latest AR solutions on Magic Leap 2 including NVIDIA Omniverse and Cisco’s Webex Hologram.
- LG and Oorbit partner to bring an entertainment metaverse platform to TVs.
To give us more perspective about CES 2023, here are some additional thoughts of what was announced by Tom Ffiske, editor over at Immersive Wire.
CES 2023 Summary
- Headlines: Sol Reader is a new VR headset that uses an e-ink display (analysis below).
- Also, HTC unveiled the Vive XR Elite for $1,299 (analysis below).
- Hot off the press: Apple may unveil its headset this coming spring, according to a well-trusted reporter from Bloomberg.
- Stat of the week: The NFT market generated $24.7bn of trading volume across platforms and marketplaces in 2022, according to DappRadar.
- Conversation-starter: Samsung and LG unveiled updates on its NFT integrations with smart TVs.
- Other stories: Chipotle is using AR again, Mercedes Benz is working with Nvidia, and Sony is working with Manchester City (more below).
- Community insights: 76% of Immersive Wire readers expect 2023 to be as economically weak as analysts expect.
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HTC unveiled the Vive XR Elite for $1,299, with 110-degree FoV, 4K resolution, and a 90Hz refresh rate.
- I’ve been hearing from CES that the passthrough is excellent. It has full-colour capabilities, and comes with hand tracking as well. Competitors like the Quest 2 or Pico 4 offer a lower-cost alternative with a robust set of features. The VIVE XR Elite takes a step beyond and offers a range of new capabilities in a light form factor.
- Will the higher price hurt sales? Potentially, though the same critics may buy Apple’s XR headset when it launches at a (potentially) higher price. Like the Varjo Aero, it’s for the smaller slice of consumers who want the absolute best experiences. That won’t be for everyone, but it will be suitable for enthusiasts.
Sol Reader is an e-ink VR headset that is under 100g, has 30 hours of battery life, and will cost $350.
- Why? The purpose is for people who lay down in bed and flick through pages of a book, hands-free. Think of it as a way to read while lying down, in the dark, and flick through what you wish. As someone who shares a bed with a partner, I can see the benefits of reading without a light or torch. SadlyItsBradley noted that the resolution may need improvement.
- Is it worth it? It’s likely not for everyone, but I love the innovation. CES is always a hotbed for weird and wonderful tech. Much of it is flash with a thin veneer of absurdity, such as an oven that lets Twitch streamers show their cooking. But I’m all in for new ideas and differing applications, and I can see an e-ink display working well for a thin sliver of book readers.
Other notable CES announcements according to Tim Ffiske:
- AjnaLens launched AnjaXR with an immerisve learning platform.
- BasedAF is a new production company specialised in the metaverse.
- Chipotle will release a wellness-inspired AR Snapchat lens on ‘Quitter’s Day,’ to reward 100,000 US customers with free guacamole.
- Graffity launched two AR games using AR glasses, in collaboration with Qualcomm and Nreal.
- Hero Zone announced that 20 new American locations have joined its platform.
- MeetKai launched a sophisticated metaverse builder.
- Mercedes-Benz is working with Nvidia to design and plan manufacturing and assembly facilities.
- Octonic VR released v2.0 with more worlds, 400 treadmills support, and full integration with NoblePro among other updates.
- ONTOP Studios teamed up with movie theatres by releasing two game arenas.
- Outform found that 58% of consumer tech shoppers are willing to shop in the metaverse.
- Treat the survey with a pinch of salt, but I wouldn’t be surprised that more tech-conscious people are interested in it.
- Raydiant offers a virtual try-on solution built by Zyler.
- Recur unveiled an all-in-one platform to run web3 projects.
- ROYBI unveiled its own metaverse platform.
- Sony gave an update on its PS VR2 headset; it will launch with 30 games, and Gran Turismo 7 will receive a VR update.
- Also, Beat Saber will be coming to PS VR2. The addition is no surprise, akin to saying that Angry Birds is coming to the next smartphone.
- One more; Sony is working with Manchester City to make a metaverse.
- TCL unveiled its RayNeo X2 AR glasses.
- Turkey will use blockchain-based digital identity for its public services.
- Vrgineers is working with IMRNext to release its new XTAL headset.
- VRROOM launched a metaverse platform for performances and events. The company will launch an event with artists tomorrow, starring Maxence, Le Juiice, and WEB7.
- Wave is working with Pico to develop a series of immersive concerts with a variety of artists like Calvin Harris.