On Monday, Apple announced the availibility of the much-awaited Vision Pro headset. Buyers in the United States can pick up the device from stores starting February 2, 2024, while pre-orders commence January 19 at 5 AM PST. Shortly after, the Japanese tech conglomerate Sony revealed that it is working on a “Spatial Content Creation System.” The device comprises an extended reality head-mounted display and a pair of controllers enabling users to interact with 3D objects.
The Device Come With A XR Head-Mounted 4K OLED Display
First, the Spatial Content Creation System comes with an XR head-mounted display with 4K OLED Microdisplays and Sony’s rendering technology. It enables high-definition rendering of 3D objects in real-time. In other words, it could help engineers and architects design and virtualize their creations in a 3D space. The display also supports a wide color gamut that covers up to 96 percent of DCI-P3. Per the press release, the device can also render “facial expressions of human characters.”
Sony’s Spatial Content Creation System Runs On Qualcomm’s Latest XR2+ SoC
Under the hood, the XR headset features the Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 Platform, Qualcomm’s latest XR processor. Its predecessor, the Snapdragon XR2 SoC, powers the Meta Quest 3 VR headset, delivering excellent graphics, external camera support, and color-passthrough. Now, the XR2+ variant claims to improve on that, supporting 4K displays (4.3K pixel resolution per eye), 90Hz refresh rate, support for higher camera resolution (up to 12 cameras), and better passthrough.
Thanks to the new processor, the XR headset will support split rendering, which distributes the rendering load between computers and head-mounted display. This sounds like how the Vision Pro’s dual-chip design works. Although Qualcomm announced this processor a couple of days ago, it has already said that Google and Samsung’s headsets. And now, Sony has joined the list.
Six Cameras And Sensors Will Enable Color Passthrough
The Sony XR system will have six cameras and sensors that will enable features like see-through and spatial recognition. There’s a ring controller as well. It allows users to intuitively manipulate objects in the virtual space and doubles as a pointing controller that enables precise pointing. Sony says the ring controller will allow creators to “craft in the virtual space with controllers and keyboards, all while wearing the head-mounted display.”
Creators Can Use The XR Display With Two Controllers
By holding the pointing controller in the dominant hand and the ring controller in the fingers of the other, creators can model 3D objects with precision. The company has already released technologies that support the spatial content creation ecosystem.
For instance, the mobile motion capture system utilizes lightweight sensors and a dedicated smartphone app for full-body motion tracking. Then there’s the Spatial Reality Display, which produces realistic, three-dimensional video without special glasses or headsets. Hence, with the XR content creation system, Sony aims to empower 3D and spatial content creators.
The Device Should Be Available Later This Year
Sony’s Spatial Content Creation System will be available “later in 2024.” The company will announce more details, such as the specifications, launch date, and price, shortly. Given the timing of the announcement and the features that the XR system is promising, it looks like the product competes directly with Apple’s Vision Pro. However, more details will only be available once the headsets are available.