CES 2017 Recap – Augmented and Virtual Reality

CES 2017 was a huge show as usual with the immersive reality space growing as much as the Drone/UAV space did from last year to now.

Let me recap the positives and negatives from my walk around. The negatives first…

  1. Similar also to Drones/UAV, the CEA had exhibitors spread out way to much – it seriously felt like the CEA was taking their money and plonking them anywhere.
  2. Knock-offs and bland products – so much crap product, so little thought put into the value proposition, and yes China I’m looking at you – a lot of knock-off products that seriously were wasting space…

The positives…

  1. There were some really interesting applications of VR and AR – Sigma Integrale being my favourite (see the image below). Their Peterbilt 579 immersive driving simulator was an outstanding example of how immersive technology can be applied to real world problems.
  2. The integration of touch (haptics) and VR was another really interesting breakout in the VR/AR space. I didn’t see anyone taking this seriously in 2016 but was impressed with a number of vendors going down this tech path.
  3. Beyond Gaming – FINALLY the industry is moving beyond gaming as the sole use-case for VR. Broader consumer use of VR (for example in the real estate space) and business applications took centre stage at CES – I expect we’ll see a lot more of this in 2018.
  4. Finally, the AR space wasn’t represented as much as I thought it would be. Clearly AR is still catching up but there was enough on show (i.e. DAQRI and co) to indicate that we’ll see a lot more of this in 2018. Honestly, CES mightn’t be the right exhibition for industrial AR – there’s clearly a branding issue around CES that the CEA needs to address.

Peterbilt 579 sim


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