Canon’s ambitious moves in less-talked-about imaging spaces like PTZ and 3D seem to be coming together finally. At CES 2023, Canon revealed a more complete ecosystem and product lineup that has real-world uses for up-and-coming markets like 3D rendering, virtual/mixed reality systems, and enhanced live event coverage or streaming via PTZ camera setups.
Suddenly, that interesting RF 5.2mm 3D VR Lens for the R5 and R5 C is starting to make a lot more sense.
Available next month, the Kokomo software is designed to make video calls a much more immersive experience by moving it into VR. This isn’t a video game either; Canon aims to place you in a photo-real environment.
Picking up a VR headset and combining it with Kokomo Software is meant to help break down any barriers that traditional video calls present. It’ll allow you to see the full “body” of the person/people joining you on the call. Being VR, it’ll also bring everyone into a shared space, which can be more conducive to productive conversation or just fun, and the ability to see people and their body language helps create a more human experience.
Canon also figured out how to make the headset disappear by overlaying an image of the person’s face to complete the magic trick. This live appearance and expression should minimize the potential issues with 2D video calls and allow you to have a more traditional, in-person experience, even when you and the other members of your call are far apart.
Want to sit front row at your favorite sporting event? What about center court? And what if you don’t even have to leave your home? That’s the goal of Canon’s Free Viewpoint system. By installing more than 100 Cinema EOS 4K cameras around an arena or other sporting event, the cameras can capture a complete picture of the game, in real time, and then take that data to create a 3D environment in which people can walk around.
You can see this system in action since it has been installed in Cleveland, OH, and Brooklyn, NY, for watching NBA games. By collecting this data and creating point-cloud based 3D models, you can have a near real-time view of the game from quite literally anywhere you want.
Create a drone shot and navigate around the players, take a seat in the center of the arena, get in the middle of the action—these types of shots are impossible with physical cameras.
Another feature of Free Viewpoint is that the entire game can be recreated in a virtual world, much like a video game. This allows you to recreate live events to replay scenes or broadcast a fun, new experience. Because it’s a virtual world, users can even control the environment, make tweaks to things like advertising on the fly, and find the “best seats in the house.”
Mixed reality may have been the coolest demo at Canon’s press conference, all thanks to the MREAL system. The MREAL X1 is a head-mounted display with multiple cameras that will help people bring virtual objects into their real-world view.
The head-mounted display (HMD) is lightweight and provides a wide field of vision that will (hopefully) make it seem like it isn’t even there. In the demo, multiple people could tour a car and even make changes to the paint color and hop inside. There are limitless uses, especially in applications like manufacturing, where being able to experience a 3D object in the real world will make workers much more effective and collaborative.
This system is very much in the early development stages, but it seems very promising. I’m looking forward to seeing what people do with it when it becomes available in the summer.
Doubling down on the desire to bring together real and virtual worlds to create a more connected community, the AMLOS system will help elevate the hybrid meeting experience. Based upon Canon’s advanced PTZ cameras, including the CR-N300 and CR-N500, this system can make it easier to give a presentation to remote viewers.
Explained in the context of a college class, the AMLOS system allowed a professor to conduct a lighting demonstration for his filmmaking students while providing spotlight functionality to certain features or documents simply by using hand gestures.
Students could also manipulate the scenes themselves to zoom in on certain details or documents that they wanted to better understand.
Blending digital and physical environments in a more natural way should help with online collaboration.
Canon’s focus at CES 2023 has certainly been to bring people together and all this tech is a good sign of where the brand believes its imaging technology will have the greatest impact on society.
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