It depends on who you ask at CES. At CES, companies are showcasing innovations that can immerse us deeply in virtual reality, also known as VR.
The Metaverse—essentially a buzzword for a three-dimensional virtual community where people can meet, work, and play—was a key theme of the four-day Tech Gathering in Las Vegas, which ended on Sunday.
Taiwanese tech giant HTC has unveiled a high-end VR headset aimed at competing with market leader Meta, and many other companies and start-ups are vying for what users can feel and smell in virtual environments. Advertised augmented reality glasses and sensory technology to help
Among them, Vermont-based OVR Technology showcased a headset containing cartridges with eight primary scents that can be combined to create different scents. It will be released later this year.
The previous version, aimed at businesses mostly used to market fragrances and beauty products, now integrates into VR goggles, letting you smell everything from romantic beds of roses to marshmallows roasting on a campfire. You can
The company says it aims to help consumers relax and markets the product, which comes with an app, as a kind of digital spa combined with Instagram.
The company’s CEO and co-founder Aaron Wisniewski said in a statement: “The quality of these experiences is measured by how immersive and emotionally engaging they are. Scent imbues them with unparalleled power.”
But the use of more powerful, immersive scents, and what comes close, taste, is still far from the realm of innovation. Experts say even more accessible VR technology is in the early stages of development and too expensive for many consumers to buy.
The numbers show that interest is waning. Sales of gaming-favorite VR headsets fell 2% last year, according to research firm NPD Group, a disappointing result for companies betting big on increasing adoption.
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Still, big companies like Microsoft and Meta are investing billions of dollars. And many companies are racing to grab market share in supporting technologies, such as wearables that replicate touch.
But customers aren’t always impressed with what they find. Technology consultant Ozan Ozaskinli, who traveled more than 29 hours from Istanbul to attend CES, donned yellow gloves and a black vest to test the so-called haptics product. .
Ozaskinli was about to enter a code on his keypad and pull a lever to unlock a box containing shiny gems. However, his experience with him was mostly disappointing.
“I think it’s far from reality right now,” Ozaskinli said. “But if you were considering replacing Zoom meetings, why? At least you can feel something.”
Proponents say the pervasiveness of virtual reality will ultimately benefit different segments of society by essentially unlocking the ability to be with anyone, anywhere, anytime. It’s too early to know what it can do once it’s fully matured, but companies looking to create the most immersive experiences for their users welcome the technology with open arms.
Flair’s chief marketing officer, Aurora Townsend, plans to launch a VR dating app called Planet Theta next month, but her team says it’s likely that once the technology becomes more widely available to the consumer market. He said he was building an app that would incorporate more senses, such as touch.
“You can feel the ground when you’re walking with your partner or when you’re holding their hand. When haptic technology becomes fully immersive in VR, it changes the subtle ways people engage.” said Townsend.
Still, many of these products are unlikely to see widespread use in the next few years, says Metaverse expert Matthew Ball. Instead, adoption pioneers are likely to be fields with higher budgets and more precise needs, such as bomb units that use haptics and virtual reality to help others in their work and the medical field, he said. Told.
In 2021, neurosurgeons at Johns Hopkins University said they used augmented reality to perform a spinal fusion surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from a patient’s spine.
And the optical technology from Lumus, an Israeli company that makes AR glasses, is already being used by underwater welders, fighter pilots, and surgeons who want to monitor patient vital signs and MRI scans during surgery, with multiple No need to look up at the screen. David Goldman, the company’s vice president of marketing, said:
Meanwhile, Xander, a Boston-based startup that makes smart glasses that display real-time captions of face-to-face conversations for the hearing impaired, will begin a pilot program next month with the U.S. Veterans Administration. Test some of that technology. Alex Westner, co-founder and CEO of the company, said: He said the agency will allow veterans with an appointment for hearing loss or other audio problems to try the glasses at some clinics. Westner said it’s highly sensitive.
Elsewhere, big companies from Walmart to Nike are launching various initiatives in virtual reality. However, it is unclear how much benefit will be gained in the early stages of the technology. Consulting firm McKinsey says the Metaverse could generate up to $5 trillion by 2030. .
“When people advertise this, the question they have to answer is, where’s the value in this? Where’s the profit? Cute, funny, not fun.”
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