Canon’s VR calling software, Meta Quest 2, lets you video chat with friends and family in VR using your own headset. This is a major step forward for imaging technology and opens up new possibilities for communication and entertainment.
Canon’s new VR calling software platform is a refreshing way to interact with others in virtual reality. The system is well-thought-out, and the scaled-down pictures provide an appropriate level of intimacy. Without having to buy additional equipment, this platform should be especially popular among social media users who want to share photos and videos in VR without feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable.
The demo was interesting, but I found it difficult to look cool in VR – and the removing-the-mask-from-my-face feature only worked about 20% of the time.
A live image of you is captured by the phone’s front-facing camera, and is shown to your fellow caller in a virtual reality headset. This technology allows for telepresence without the vast expenditure of typical telepresence systems – making it perfect for use in both business and personal settings.
As Canonical works to develop its platform, it faces several challenges. Chief among these is the need to create a user experience that – while innovative – still feels distinctly Canonical. The company has succeeded in creating an intuitive interface on Ubuntu devices, but the same cannot be said for Windows. While Canonical continues to make progress in this area, there is clearly more work to be done before the platform can truly rival those of Apple and Microsoft.
The VR telepresence Kokomo is promising will be a major advance over traditional forms of communication, but it needs some refining before it can truly take hold. The low frame rate and lack of smoothness was noticeable in my test call, hampering the immersion and preventing the telepresence from feeling truly lifelike. However, other features like the two-dimensional avatar and occasional mask removal are already impressive improvements on traditional mediums, indicating that Kokomo has great potential if they can iron out these kinks.
Looking back, the current VR mask removal technology is definitely not as easy and as smooth as what we see in classical painting. Granted, it has improved over time, but the process is still very much based on a certain level of artistic talent and skill. Whether or not this technology will continue to improve remains to be seen, but for now it seems to hold a certain level of intrigue for many art lovers.
Kokomo is changing the way people think about online storage. It’s not just a place to store your photos and videos, but a way to connect with friends and family from around the world.
Canon’s Kokomo product demonstrates how VR and telepresence can be used to connect with friends in a more personal way. With the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PSVR already on the market, it is clear that VR is becoming a more popular platform for entertainment and communication. Canon has clearly dedicated themselves to making sure their product reaches as many people as possible, releasing it free of charge and even offering preliminary compatibility for other devices such as the Samsung GearVR. Even if this product does not ultimately become mainstream because of its steep pricetag or limited functionality at this stage in development, it is still an interesting example of how VR could be used in the future.