This isn’t the first we’ve heard of Canon’s Mixed Reality system — not by a long shot. The company’s trotted its augmented reality headset out a few times before. The camera maker did, however, take the opportunity to shed some light on its US plans for the head-mounted display yesterday at an event held in Manhattan’s Classic Car Club. Surrounded by the classy convertibles, the company also unveiled the more streamlined (and vaguely Cypress Hill-esque) MREAL name. As before, the headset is decidedly industry-facing, targeting product prototypers with an augmented reality system that lets designers interact with computer-generated versions of their creations before actually willing them into existence.
The MREAL System for Mixed Reality (that’s the full name — or, if you want to drill down even further: the headset is the HM-A1 and the software platform is MP-100) generates video of one’s surroundings using a pair of cameras positioned in front of the wearer’s eyes, which is combined with computer-generated graphics. The result is displayed on a pair of small monitors “to create high-impact, three-dimensional images.” Amongst the potential target audiences for the product are automotive designers, manufacturers, university researchers and museum exhibit curators. Canon’s also planning to open up its SDK to developers, so applications will likely only increase.
As per Canon’s press release, the MREAL system is set for a March 1st release, priced on a sliding scale, depending on which configuration you opt into — though the company tossed out the steep $125,000 price point, along with $25,000 in annual maintenance. The aforementioned press release can be found after the break — or better yet, have a look at our hands-on with the device right now.