The Rokid Vision specs can generate an AR desktop from your smartphone
As mobile components get more powerful and come down in cost, we're seeing a growing number of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) devices that don't need a computer connection – like the new Rokid Vision glasses, which can project games, phone apps and more in front of your eyes.
Rokid calls the device Mixed Reality (MR), a term that Microsoft also likes, but which a lot of other people term AR – digital elements superimposed on the real world, but in such a way that they feel part of the physical scene.
Whatever the terminology, the Rokid Vision specs have an impressive number of potential uses. Plug them into your phone and attach a keyboard, for example, and you can have a huge gallery of floating apps in front of your face – no desktop monitor required.
Gaming is another area where the Rokid Vision is looking to impress, creating AR worlds that can be controlled and interacted with, along with friends. 3D elements can be pulled out of webpages, movies can be shown on giant virtual screens, walking directions can be overlaid on top of the road ahead of a user, and so on.
Rokid says the Vision specs will be able to plug into any kind of device that supports DisplayPort – including phones, consoles and laptops – and then create all kinds of augmented reality experiences.
There is some processing power on board the specs as well: a simultaneous localization and mapping module or SLAM, which works with embedded cameras to offer six degrees of freedom (6DoF). That means the Rokid Vision will be able to tell when you're moving your head and when you're moving through space, no external sensors required.
Rokid is also promising immersive 3D sound, a lightweight and comfortable design, and a companion app that enables you to use your phone alongside the specs – as a remote for an AR television set, for example.
A lot of details are still to be determined – the specs won't go on sale until 2020 – but as always app support will be crucial. Rokid is going to have to convince developers to code apps and games for the hardware, but the company does at least have previous experience with the Rokid Glass AR specs that first appeared last year.
There's also growing competition from similarly sized and priced products wanting to put augmented reality into a lightweight form – companies are still trying to find the magic formula six years after Google Glass first appeared.
Product page: Rokid