At CES 2023, which was held in early January, interest in XR was hot, and the number of innovation awards related to virtual/augmented reality surged to 25 in two years. Several startups and manufacturers also showcased new XR-related technologies along with their products at the show.
Here, we will focus on two of the XR-related technologies showcased at CES 2023 – a transparent display with XR and hands-free controllers. These technologies are the foundation for XR to expand into various areas such as health and education.
1. Transparent display with XR technology
Transparent display categories include HUD (head-up display), HMD (head-mounted display), transparent OLED, and more. HUD is often used as a display for vehicles. However, until now, commercialized HUD for vehicles has taken up only a part of the front glass. But at CES 2023, several automakers introduced AR HUD with more advanced forms and expanded areas.
Most prominently, BMW unveiled ‘BMW i Vision Dee’ and announced its plan to commercialize by 2025 advanced HUDs that use the entire front glass. Also, BMW will expand its personalization experience by allowing the driver’s avatar to be displayed in the side window. This advanced HUD is combined with the MR slider to set a range of information displayed on the HUD. The range varies from driving-related information to virtual/augmented reality information.
BMW i Vision Dee
However, in the future, if the transparent OLED introduced by LG Display at CES 2023 is commercialized, it could replace HUD that transmits images to the windshield. LG Display introduced a concept car equipped with a 55-inch transparent OLED at CES 2023. The transparent OLED serves as a window, provides content such as advertisements and news, and provides information on places outside the window in real-time through AR technology. This means that AR technology can expand opportunities to provide various experiences to all occupants, not just driver assistance features.
LG Concept Car With Transparent OLED
Source: LG Display
2. Hands-free tracker
Among the CES’ innovation awards in the virtual/augmented reality category, controllers were included to highlight how they allow users to have various experiences hands-free.
Contact Glove of Japanese company Diver-X is a haptic VR controller in the form of gloves. The glove is a tactile controller compatible with all SteamVR games, allowing VR gamers to enjoy an in-depth gaming experience. In addition, the device can capture the user’s hand movements and manipulate buttons and sticks with only finger movements.
Contact Glove by Diver-X
Another innovation award-winning Surplex, a body tracker in the form of shoes, was announced by the Chinese company Shenzhen Qianhai Xiangfang Future Technology. The device, with its 480 embedded pressure sensors, has the advantage of not being space constrained. Also, it is compatible with all SteamVR-compatible headsets such as the Oculus Quest 2. Such hands-free controllers are expected to be of great help in expanding the use cases in the industrial segment as well as the experience of general consumers in virtual/augmented reality.
Surplex Full-body Tracking Shoes
In 2021, the total XR market size was about 11 million units and Meta was the main player with about 75% market share. According to the latest Counterpoint Global XR(VR/AR) Forecast, the XR market is expected to grow to about 63 million units by 2027. However, Meta is expected to lose its market share as new players such as Apple will enter the market. Therefore, competition in the XR market is expected to intensify, and manufacturers will constantly diversify the use of XR devices to defend market share. Accordingly, it is anticipated that new technologies related to XR will continue to pour in.