Entrancing CES Attendees with LG’s Curved Displays
Though this first slide is not about AR or VR, LG’s entrance highlights the advances in display technology that eventually make their way into AR/VR applications. The flexible displays make an interesting spectacle. Likewise, scalable displays and micro LED displays were out in force. The variety of implementations highlights the possibilities in display technology that are also found in AR and VR applications, albeit on a much smaller scale.
Vuzix Delivers Sharp AR Glasses
The Vuzix Blade packs an Android system into the glasses. The augmented-reality (AR) glasses are less obvious than the Google Glass, but its thick rims full of electronics and rechargeable batteries are easy to spot. These hide a 64-bit ARM quad-core SoC running the Android OS with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. A matching app runs on Android and iOS.
The 8-Mpixel camera can deliver 720p video. A red LED lights up when capturing stills or video, although it’s not quite up to Cylon standards. Video input can also be used to scan bar codes. Multiple microphones provide noise-cancelling audio input.
There’s haptic feedback on both sides, and head tracking is built-in. The waveguide optic display employs the Cobra II DLP for full-color, see-through operation. Lens are UV-protected. A micro SD slot provides expansion storage.
DOF Robotics Takes VR for a Ride
DOF Robotics combines virtual reality (VR) with physical movement. Its three- to five-person ride rises, falls, rotates, and generally flips out with VR glasses, providing the virtual video feedback to the movement provided by the chair. The six-degrees-of-freedom (6DOF) unit provides 360-degree rotation. It can support special effects like rain and air blasts, and is coupled with a 5.1 sound system. It has a line of CES attendees waiting to experience the VR environment.
TDK and HTC Add Ultrasonics to VR
HTC has been shipping virtual-reality (VR) goggles for a number of years. TDK is known for sensors and its ultrasonic Chirp SonicTrack technology that provides compact, low-cost sonar in the form of the CH-101 sensor.
HTC and TDK worked together to bring Chirp to the 3D positioning of the wireless, handheld controllers with respect to the Vive Focus head-mounted display (HMD). The omnidirectional CH-101 allows the system to track movement over a wide range of positions. The HMD sports a set of sensors along with a set on each controller. Multiplexing and triangulation provide real-time position information without the need for configuration by the user.
DisplayLink Highlights XR Technology
Not everyone was hawking end-user products at CES. DisplayLink XR technology targets wireless AR and VR connectivity. DisplayLink’s DL-8020 chipset delivers 4K VR support with 4 Mpixels/eye. The reference design was paired with an Oculus Rift. CES attendees had a chance to try out a few games without having a cable connecting them to the host system.
Sleep Number and VR?
I should probably write about Sleep Number’s beds and sleep-related technology. But since this is a gallery about VR, it was the few people in front of the Sleep Number booth flailing away like virtual quarterbacks that caught my eye. They were wearing standard VR goggles running a football throwing game. It seems Sleep Number has linked up with the National Football League (NFL) to provide 360 Smart Beds to 1,800 players in the league. The Smart Beds use Responsive Air technology for feedback and adjustment of the bed’s firmness for each person.