Sony and Siemens steal Apple's thunder with spatial VR headset

Sony and Siemens have announced that they’re working on an intriguing new VR headset with spatial content capture potential, stealing some of Apple’s Vision Pro thunder.

An initial teaser was offered at Sony’s pre-CES press conference of a new VR set-up led by an “XR head-mounted display equipped with high-quality 4K OLED Microdisplays” and a video see-through function. It also features a unique pair of controllers – one traditional-looking VR device, and one ring-like controller that fits on your finger.

Sony says that this will enable users to “craft in virtual space with controllers and keyboards”, and to create and modify real-scale 3D models.

Key to the new headset’s precision are its spatial recognition abilities, enabled by six cameras and sensors.

Sony Siemens spatial VR headset

Sony says that, contrary to its game-focused PlayStation VR 2 system, this early-look project is designed with “sophisticated 3D content creation” in mind, and specifically mentioned the “entertainment and industrial design fields”.

The headset will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 Platform,

Sony’s partner in the venture, Siemens, has since provided a few more details. The German company will be supplying its Xcelerator portfolio of industry software to the venture, and claims that the headset will “kickstart content creation for the industrial metaverse”.

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This clearly isn’t intended as a commercial product, so Sony and Siemens aren’t exactly treading on Apple’s territory here. But its use of ‘spatial’ terminology is interesting on the eve of Apple’s full Vision Pro launch.

Sony states that the new, as-yet-unnamed spatial VR headset will be available later in 2024.

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