Canon has just announced the MREAL S1, the new model in its line of AR headsets. Designed for businesses and intended to be paired with a mobile workstation, the device can be used in two ways: hands-free and manual.
Unlike the MREAL Display MD-20, the S1 looks more like a VR headset, but which has a passthrough function where you can see your surroundings. To do this, the device has stereoscopic cameras on the front as well as VR screens. The result thus falls into the category of mixed reality. There are also two optical sensors for position tracking.
For now, Canon has not yet revealed the features of the MREAL S1. However, the manufacturer states that this is the product the most compact and light in the MREAL range. In fact, it is not a stand-alone helmet. It will therefore be necessary to connect it to a PC, Canon specifying that this more portable model has been designed to work with mobile workstations.
As you might expect for a device intended for professionals, the hands-free configuration allows use with industrial applications requiring the use of hands. One can cite computer-aided design (CAD) software.
The second mode of use, which requires to hold it by the hands, allows a simpler use for example for give demonstrations at a trade fair.
If this versatility was already found on the MD-20 and MD-10, the MREAL S1 stands out for its small size, comparable to that of a smartphone. In addition, the device is easier to operate in manual mode thanks to a simplified design. Finally, its price has also been revised downwards.
In any case, like previous Canon AR headsets, the MREAL S1 should remain a Japanese exclusive. It should only be available to local partners of the manufacturer.