Canon Unveils the MREAL S1, a Portable Enterprise-Focused AR Headset
Canon’s AR headset hardware lineup now has a new addition in the MREAL S1. This latest piece of hardware in the lineup is also enterprise-focused with a passthrough AR feature. Users can strap it on their head mounts or use it for hands-free viewing or on a housing used for handheld interactions.
Earlier this year, Canon unveiled the similarly enterprise-focused MREAL Display MD-20 which is an augmented reality headset. The MREAL S1, on the other hand, is more of a Virtual Reality headset that has a passthrough AR feature. This has been realized through the inclusion of stereoscopic camera sensors that are located on the front part of the device and with the Virtual Reality displays to offer users a ‘mixed reality’ view. The headset also features two additional optical sensors that provide positional tracking.
Canon didn’t provide the specs for its new mixed reality device neither did it provide details on pricing and availability. However, on its Japanese website, it has described the MREAL S1 as the “smallest and lightest video see-through MR device in the history of MREAL.”
MREAL S1 will need a PC tether to work. It is not a standalone Mixed Reality device. However, according to Canon, the device can work with mobile workstations. It is also cheaper and more portable than its predecessors in the MREAL lineup such as the MD-20 and the MD-10. Some of the portability is due to the device’s lack of light-blocking blinders which has been Canon’s design choice in all of its MREAL headsets.
Like with other enterprise-focused AR devices, the head-mount version of the MREAL S1 was designed for use with industrial applications and might need two hands like in the case of CAD software. However, its handheld style was built for ease of use in exhibitions.
The predecessor headsets MD-20 and MD-10 also featured this level of convertibility. The MREAL S1 is, however, smaller in size and has been slimmed down to about the size of a regular smartphone. The handheld configuration is also not as ungainly and Canon has eliminated the giant handles that were in the previous models.
However, like its predecessors, the MREAL S1 is also likely to be a Japan-only device for enterprises partnering with Canon.