Sony announces mixed reality headset for 3D content creators
Image courtesy: Sony

At CES 2024, Sony announced an immersive spatial content creation system for 3D content creators. The new system includes an XR (extended reality) head-mounted display equipped with a video see-through function, and a pair of optimized controllers.

XR head-mounted display

The XR head-mounted display uses large-size, high-definition 1.3-type OLED Microdisplays with 4K resolution. The Microdisplays also deliver a wide color gamut that covers up to 96% of DCI-P3. DCI-P3 is an RGB color space defined for digital theatrical motion picture distribution. In addition, the head-mounted display unit features video see-through functionality and spatial recognition from six cameras and sensors. The head-mounted display has a flip-up mechanism so you can move between physical and virtual spaces without having to remove the headset.

Intuitive controllers

The content creation system uses a ring controller worn on one finger. Sony says that this means you can intuitively manipulate objects in virtual space. There is also a pointing controller that enables stable and accurate pointing in virtual spaces. This device features optimized shape and button layouts for efficient and precise operation. With the pointing controller in your dominant hand and the ring controller on the fingers of your other hand, you can model 3D objects using both controllers and a keyboard while wearing the head-mounted display.

Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2

The system features the Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 Platform, which is the latest XR processor from Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. Sony says that the processor unlocks the power of the 4K OLED Microdisplays to deliver stunning image quality. It also provides user and space tracking for seamless XR experiences, making the new system a high-performance platform for spatial content creation.

Using the system

When using the new system, spatial content creators can see real-scale 3D models in an XR environment with the high-definition display. You can also create and modify 3D models in that environment. At launch, Sony is partnering with Siemens to introduce a new solution for immersive design and collaborative product engineering. This solution uses the new NX Immersive Designer software from the Siemens Xcelerator open digital business platform. In addition, Sony wants to collaborate with other 3D production software developers, in both the entertainment and industrial design fields.

What we think

Apple’s Vision Pro augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headset is scheduled to launch next month and now we have a new XR head-mounted display from Sony. Apple has advertised their device for use with FaceTime, Photos and Movies. In contrast, Sony says that their system is for professionals who work with 3D, and not for entertainment. However, Sony is actively seeking to work with developers from the entertainment world so it will be interesting to see how their platform develops once out in the world.

Availability

Sony says that its new spatial content creation system will be available later in 2024. Details of the final specification, launch regions, pricing and software will be released nearer the time.

Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.