Sony and Siemens’ mixed reality headset has a flip-down visor and its own stylus and ring controllers.
Sony’s got a new VR/AR headset, but maybe not in the way you might think. Sony already has the PlayStation VR 2, but it has debuted a new standalone, spatial content creation-focused mixed reality headset at this year’s CES show in Las Vegas. Developed with Siemens, the headset has a very different target audience: engineers who might also be considering the Apple Vision Pro.
The mixed reality headset, with a flip-up visor and a couple of wearable input tools, is focused on content creators and professionals. The hardware, coming later in 2024, uses Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 chip that will also be in Samsung’s expected headset this year. The headset also features Sony’s own micro OLED displays, which have an impressive 4K resolution per eye.
Sony’s headset doesn’t look goggle-like: Instead, its flip-down design floats the display tech over the eyes, allowing for some peripheral vision on the sides.
The headset’s visor flips up: It’s designed to be simple to pop in and out of.
The Apple Vision Pro has ramped up interest in high-end mixed reality headsets, and Sony’s headset is joining a similar type of landscape. Sony’s headset, which is also standalone, will rely on software tools from Siemens’ Xcelerator platform designed for business.
This headset looks like it’s aiming for uses in exactly the same spaces that AR headsets such as Microsoft’s Hololens used to target: as a way to model and explore 3D designs before deploying them, and possibly for training and simulation purposes, too.
The headset’s ring and stylus/pointer controllers are its most unique features.
Sony’s headset shows some interesting promise in the accessories. A wearable ring accessory and stylus-like pointer tool can be used at once, one per hand, to manipulate and work with 3D objects. Neither Apple nor Meta has developed any wearable controller accessories for mixed reality yet, although it would make sense for wearables that are mixed-reality ready to start emerging in the next few years.