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Canon Unveils AR Headset Successor MREAL MD-20

Enterprise focused and probably very expensive.

When you think of augmented reality (AR) headsets who comes to mind first, Microsoft with HoloLens or perhaps Magic Leap? Japanese camera manufacturer Canon probably isn’t high or even on that list but the company has been in the market for a while. Today, Canon has unveiled its latest device, the MREAL Display MD-20.

Canon MREAL M20
Canon MREAL Display M-20 sample image – (real car on the left, 3D CG car on the right). Image credit: Canon

With such a catchy name and snazzy design, you can probably tell the new headset is firmly geared towards enterprise and industrial use cases. An update to the previous MD-10, the successor features two screens with 2,560 x 1,600-pixel displays in combination with a 70° horizontal and 40° vertical field of view (FoV) – the MD-10 had a 60° horizontal and 40° vertical FoV – and a wide colour gamut for accurate reproduction of computer-generated images.

Canon has developed a new CMOS with a global shutter which it claims can: ‘accurately capture real-world images without distortion’. Additionally, the sensor is also used for positioning, supposedly capable of generating real-time spatial maps to allow for accurate placement of 3D objects even when a user moves. This can be further augmented by the addition of optional markers and optical sensors.

MREAL MD20
Canon MREAL Display MD-20 with handheld unit attached.

 

Canon will be showcasing the MREAL Display MD-20 at the 28th 3D & Virtual Reality Exhibition (IVR) Exhibit in Japan in February. There’s no word regarding what the price will be but the MREAL MD-10 was only available to the Japanese for a whopping ¥9 million (approximately $82,300 USD). Makes the likes of HoloLens 2 ($3,500) and Magic Leap 1 ($3,000) look cheap in comparison.

The headset is still in development with Canon aiming to further shink the design whilst making it lighter, as well as improving the performance on features such as its positioning system. VRFocus will continue its coverage of Canon, reporting back with the latest updates.

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