A Glimpse into the Future - AR Innovations at CES 2023by@asim
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A Glimpse into the Future - AR Innovations at CES 2023

by Asim Rais SiddiquiJanuary 19th, 2023
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The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is an annual trade show organized by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), which takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. The event features the latest in consumer technology products and innovations, including smartphones, laptops, smart home devices, and more. From foldable treadmills to a car that can change colors using a pen, CES 2023 was not lacking in innovation.
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Are you curious about what the future will be like? You can explore a whole new world of technology through the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). This cutting-edge exhibit transports visitors to a realm where digital and physical worlds seamlessly blend together, providing a truly immersive experience.

From foldable treadmills to a car that can change colors using a pen, CES 2023 was not lacking in innovation in the slightest. Individuals were given a chance to try out the latest AR technology and see how it can revolutionize industries such as gaming, education, and medicine. From interactive 3D models to virtual try-ons, this exhibit was made to amaze and inspire.

If you’re curious about CES and the happenings of the 2023 exhibit we have the complete breakdown for you. So let’s get into it!

What You Need to Know About CES.

For anyone who’s not aware of it, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is an annual trade show organized by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) which takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. The event features the latest in consumer technology products and innovations, including smartphones, laptops, smart home devices, and more.

From big names like Samsung and Sony to emerging start-ups like Breylon, the event is attended by industry professionals, media, and consumers. It is considered one of the biggest and most anticipated technology events of the year.

The Year of AR at CES 2023?

With the first “real year” that the show was back in full swing following the pandemic, it was attended by 100,000 journalists and analysts with over 3,200 companies from 174 countries showcasing their innovations.

Since the motto of CES 2023 was “Innovation for human security” a buzzword on everyone’s lips at the event seemed to be ‘sustainability’ with almost every company putting emphasis on how their products would be sustainable. Other prominent themes included fitness, well-being, smart home devices, and more.

Image Source: Forbes

But what really took center stage at CES 2023 were announcements from the world of AR, VR and XR. From gaming accessories giant Razer finally entering the AR/VR market to TCL introducing their not-really-AR glasses, it’s definitely going to be a happening year.

Let’s look at some exciting AR innovations that stole the show at CES 2023.

TCL’s Trio of AR/VR Tech

One of the most surprising reveals at CES 2023 came from TCL, a company well-known in the US for their budget-friendly TVs and home appliances. The first and arguably least ambitious of their tech parcel are the NXTWear S glasses. They don’t really qualify as AR or VR but offer individuals a head-mounted display of a 130 inches virtual screen. They can easily connect to your smartphone, tablet or laptop.

Image Source: TCL

TCL’s next innovation is the much-hyped RayNeoX2 AR glasses. Calling them the “world’s first binocular full-color Micro-LED optical waveguide AR glasses”, these specs are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon® XR2 platform. This is a chipset that brings 5G connectivity and 8K video to AR devices.

According to TCL, these glasses can help with navigation and live-text translation in multiple languages. They also revealed that TCLRayNeo will start a developer project in 2023, rallying innovative developers to join and build creative, user-driven features for the AR glasses. The final entry among TCL’s slew of AR/VR innovations is the NXTWear V headset which is a VR and mixed-reality headset. It features a 108-degree field of view, with 4K displays, 1,512 pixels per inch, and passthrough cameras. There’s little known in regard to whether and when it will be available commercially.

Magic Leap Makes an AR Headset for the Operating Room

It’s the year of AR and Magic Leap came with a groundbreaking invention in the world of augmented reality. The company’s latest AR headset Magic Leap 2 received the IEC 60601 certification, clearing the headset for use in clinical settings including the operating room. With the help of this headset, surgeons no longer have to turn their focus away from the patient to look at a 2D screen.

Image Source: MagicLeap

The headset comes with critical data and 3D visualization having been integrated into the operating suite digitally which allows for the doctor to keep their focus on the patient. It can also assist with practical tasks like inserting a catheter through the blood vessels of the heart by eradicating the need to look at a screen while performing this delicate procedure. This increases the precision rate significantly.

The Magic Leap 2 provides improved visualization, increased precision, and reduces fatigue for the surgeon. With the ability to overlay 3D images and models of the patient's anatomy on the actual surgical field, surgeons can gain a more detailed and accurate view of the area they are working on, making incisions and movements with greater precision. Since it also reduces the need to look away from the surgical field, this helps minimize eye strain. This headset is a game changer for AR developments in the near future.

Blurring the Barrier between Reality and AR with Lumus

Despite how innovative AR/VR tech gets, wearability is a big concern for many. Lumus addresses and provides a solution to this concern with their second-generation Z-Lens 2D waveguide architecture built upon 2D Maximus. This unique architecture comprises an optical engine that shrinks their wavelength technology into a 50% smaller package that can be hidden at the top corner of the eyeglass lens. It features 2K x 2K resolution with full and vibrant color to offer the best image quality.

Image Source: LumusVision

Wearability is an important factor to consider when it comes to AR glasses, as it directly affects the user's experience and comfort. AR glasses that are not comfortable to wear, or that are too heavy, bulky, or obtrusive, will not be used as much as those that are designed to be worn comfortably for extended periods of time.

Lumus, best known as the pioneer of the reflective waveguide technology, aims to provide both functionality and aesthetics in AR glasses for them to eliminate barriers to entry and to penetrate the consumer market. Lumus claims that because of this architecture, consumers will be able to experience augmented reality through a pair of glasses that are visually indistinguishable from a pair of non-AR glasses.

XanderGlasses Captioning the World

2023 is a major year for AR glasses in particular and one company making strides in this domain is Xander, a tech startup that uses AR to enhance daily in-person communication for individuals affected by hearing loss. The XanderGlasses powered by Vuzix combine technology with sensory substitution to generate captions in real-time to assist individuals who are hard of hearing.

Image Source: Xander

The XanderGlasses features a noise-canceling microphone to capture clear conversations. The speech-to-text technology built into the glasses means that you don't need to connect to WiFi or rely on your smartphone to use the glasses. They’re not bulky and are unobtrusive allowing the wearer to feel comfortable using them. Privacy is also an integral feature of the glasses with only the wearer being able to access their conversations. The company is SOC 2 and HIPAA compliant which means that they don’t collect any personal data.

Xander was also honored at CES this year with the CTA Foundation selecting it as the winner of its Eureka Park Accessibility Contest, enabling them to exhibit the XanderGlasses at CES 2023. They also made an important announcement regarding future endeavors.

The company stated that it has signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA). Veterans are more likely than non-veterans to have a hearing impairment. So this agreement will allow Xander to get product feedback from veterans experiencing hearing loss as well as opticians and audiologists in 3 VA health centers in the U.S.

Augmented Reality at CES 2023: Key Takeaway

The Augmented Reality (AR) innovations at CES 2023 were a showcase of the latest and greatest in AR technology. It encapsulated the ability to overlay digital information on the real world and the creation of limitless possibilities for a wide range of applications. For example, in the field of medicine, Magic Leap 2 will utilize AR technology to assist surgeons in improving visualization and making more precise incisions. The XanderGlasses are enhancing everyday conversation for people affected by hearing loss.

It's important to note that the technology is still in development, and more research and testing are needed to fully realize its potential. The growth of 5G networks, faster processing power, and more powerful sensors will allow for more advanced and sophisticated AR applications. The advancements in computer vision and machine learning will also play a key role in the future of AR, allowing for more accurate and realistic digital overlays and interactions.

But, CES 2023 made it clear that AR is no longer just a technology of the future, it's here and it's ready to be used. The exhibit was a fantastic opportunity for visitors to see the potential of this technology and how it can change the way we interact with the world. It succeeded in making several people excited about the possibilities of AR and the impact it will have on our lives in the years to come.