The Oppo MR Glass developer edition will be available to developers in China in the second half of the year.
Chinese electronics company Oppo debuted a mixed reality headset on Wednesday, pushing into an area where US tech giants Microsoft and Apple have been keen.
The Oppo MR Glass Developer Edition is designed for developers to create apps and discover the best uses for mixed reality technology. The headset is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 Plus chipset.
Mixed reality refers to technologies that include both virtual reality and augmented reality (AR). People can wear headphones and see digital images or videos superimposed on the real world in front of them.
Oppo is on the future of mixed reality and sees it as the next computing platform after the smartphone.
“It has the potential to be a new computing platform,” Xu Yi, director of XR technology at Oppo, told CNBC.
Oppo released its latest version – Oppo Air Glass 2 – last year and has been working on AR glasses for a few years. The device looks like a regular pair of glasses.
The MR Glass developer edition, on the other hand, is a large headset that comes with controllers so users can interact with what’s in front of them.
Xu admits that “a lot of things still need to be improved to be a real product or a successful product,” including the technology and applications for mixed reality. .
“Everybody wants to do AR because it has great potential, but the technology isn’t there yet, it’s probably many years away,” he said.
That’s why Oppo is trying to entice developers to create apps that make mixed reality popular. The company will make the headset available to developers in China in the second half of the year. He said he has no plans to market the device yet.
Xu said mixed reality will eventually lead to full AR, which is currently being tested but remains in its infancy and has yet to develop into a mass-market product. Xu envisions an AR device worn by the user throughout the day.
“AR is going to be the same thing with smartphones, because the best AR is where you wear it [it] All day, with all functions, a day can be compared to the size of the smartphone market.
AR and mixed reality are areas that tech giants are focusing on globally because of this potential. Microsoft has a HoloLens device, a top Samsung executive told CNBC in February that the company is working on a roadmap for its own mixed reality devices. Chinese tech company Xiaomi released its own AR headset this year.
Apple is said to have been developing its own headphones for a long time. In an interview with GQ earlier this year, the company’s CEO Tim Cook explained why people are looking for mixed reality headsets in the future.
“The idea that you can mask the physical world with things from the digital world can enhance human interaction, human interaction,” Cook told GQ.