Virtual Reality

Sony is launching a user-friendly motion capture system for VR

Called Mocopi

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Is the metaverse dead? If you ask Meta, the answer is a resounding no. However, Facebook’s parent company isn’t the only one making strides in virtual reality. Taking things farther than a simple headset, Sony has launched Mocopi, a new motion capture system designed to bring your body to virtual reality.

Seemingly a portmanteau between “motion capture” and “copy,” Mocopi consists of several motion-tracking bands worn on the user’s head, back, arms, and legs. Like a true motion capture system, movements done in real life will echo through a virtual avatar.

Besides various gaming-related apps, users who thrive in virtual reality also rely on more social applications. One such app is VRChat, a customizable virtual room to socialize with others using avatars of a user’s choice. Others also rely on VTubers — virtual avatars, usually styled after anime characters, that are rigged for motion capture — to create content.

Sony’s Mocopi will allow users to mimic more realistic movements in virtual reality. The system will likely see a lot of use in Japan where Vtubing is still incredibly popular.

Of note, the company has not confirmed whether the system will work in tandem with the upcoming PSVR 2, a virtual headset for the PlayStation coming in February.

Sony is scheduled to release Mocopi sometime in late January 2023. It will cost JPY 49,500 (or approximately US$ 358).

Additionally, Sony will also release a development kit for any prospective apps starting on December 15.

SEE ALSO: PlayStation VR2 is officially launching on February 22

CES 2023

Sony teases future of live virtual reality at CES 2023

Moving people forward

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Sony CES 2023

Will people ever be able to share their physical location in 3D to others in real-time? This is something Sony is challenging as it focused on the future of live virtual reality in its CES 2023 exhibit.

Sony is testing the possibility of sharing of both time and space to provide everyone with virtual world experiences that allow each other to connect to the physical world in exciting ways — especially in live sporting events.

In fact, they are already conducting a proof of concept (PoC) to see whether fans of football, for instance, may be able to virtually watch matches as if they are inside an actual stadium through metaverse content reproduced in virtual space.

Portable Volumetric Capture

Related to the live-sharing was a prototype showcased at CES 2023. This prototype can capture and distribute animated 3D reconstructions of people, objects, and spaces with low latency.

There will be only seven sensors required for the system, making it ideal for live 3D video distribution. Sony sees various applications for this innovation, like live sports and concerts, and TV news broadcasts.

Spatial Reality Display

It does not stop at 3D live video sharing for Sony. The company also unveiled a 27-inch prototype of a Spatial Reality (SR) Display. It reproduces the real world with 3D spatial images.

With a larger screen, life-sized objects are replicated more realistically. As a glimpse, Sony shows 3D computer graphics content in its booth.

This ambition will be also aided by the existing Hawk-Eye technology which records live sports data and virtual characters for reproduction on the SR Display.

SEE ALSO: Afeela is Sony and Honda’s first electric car together

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Apple reportedly delays mixed-reality headset once again

Not a big delay, though

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Mercifully, “metaverse” lost Oxford’s word of the year award to “goblin mode”. Despite all of Meta’s claims, the stylized term for its version of virtual reality has not taken off. Just so, Meta’s competitors are still holding out on their entries to the virtual reality realm. Hit by delays in the past already, Apple is once again delaying its much-awaited mixed-reality headset.

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, the unannounced headset is coming sometime in the second half of 2023. Previously, the device was pegged for a second quarter launch. It’s not a drastic delay, but it’s another speed bump for the enigmatic device.

If anything, Apple’s issues are now stemming from the software side. As such, Kuo expects that the individual components for the headset will still come relatively on time in the second quarter. The report remains unsure if the planned reveal in January is still a go, though.

Further, the headset’s shipments will reportedly be less than previously expected. Neither Kuo nor Apple have commented on why a reduced shipment is currently planned.

That said, Apple hasn’t really commented on the coming of its mixed-reality headset. All information comes from leaks and reports from external sources. However, from what we’ve heard, Apple is promising a lot from its headset, including the ability to pay handsfree using only their eyes.

SEE ALSO: Apple’s AR headset will let users pay with their eyes

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Apple’s AR headset will let users pay with their eyes

Will also let users log in

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Though riddled with delays, Apple has not given up on augmented reality. The brand’s upcoming headset is reportedly coming sometime next year. In the meantime, a few reports are offering glimpses of what’s to come. A new report, for example, says that the headset will allow users to pay for goods using their eyes.

According to The Information, Apple is adding iris recognition technology into the unannounced augmented-reality headset. Using the technology will facilitate easier logins and payment processing on the platform. In a way, it’s the next step after Face ID.

Though unannounced, Apple, especially through Tim Cook, hasn’t been shy about its positive feelings towards augmented reality, as opposed to virtual reality. Recently, the CEO went on the record saying that the average user probably doesn’t know what metaverse, a term brigaded by Meta, is. Instead, Cook says that augmented reality is the way to go, seeing the emerging technology as a spearhead for the future.

However, Apple’s push for augmented reality is slow. Rumored some time ago, the upcoming headset has suffered multiple delays. Besides insider sources, no one really knows when the device is actually coming. Most reports speculate on a 2023 launch, though.

Regardless, a new headset from Apple will go against Meta’s Quest lineup of products. This year, Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg is heavily pushing for his virtual world as the future of the world, even celebrating the addition of legs on the metaverse’s virtual avatars.

SEE ALSO: Apple’s mixed-reality headset is coming next year

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