CES 2018: News & Questions About VR

HTC Vive Pro
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CES 2018 has now come and gone, and with it a whole new wave of discussion about virtual and augmented reality. It seems that this will be another year full of interesting developments in this ever-expanding tech sector. So let’s get right to it! Here are some of the biggest pieces of news from CES, as well as some of the unanswered questions following the event.

HTC Vive Pro

HTC Vive Pro

NEWS

Alexa Has Smart Glasses – One of the most interesting things to emerge in VR/AR at CES 2018 was certainly the partnership between Vuzix and Amazon’s Alexa. While Vuzix smart glasses have been at CES before, this represented the launch of the first Alexa-enabled AR glasses on the market. These are $1,000 AR glasses that can be voice-enabled – much like the Google Glass we all remember getting excited about a few years ago. It’s a major step forward for Alexa, and potentially a trendsetting device.

Lenovo Is In The Game – If you’re under the impression that companies are done putting out new VR headsets altogether, not so fast! Lenovo made a lot of headlines by unveiling the Lenovo Mirage Solo VR headset at CES, and it could be competitive immediately. Compatible with Google Daydream tech and apps, it’s a totally independent headset, in that it doesn’t need a PC or smartphone to operate. The headset is its own system.

HTC Is Upgrading – HTC’s Vive is already one of the best, most respected, and most expensive headsets in the VR/AR market. However, the company is now upgrading, perhaps following the lead of Xbox and PlayStation. The HTC Vive Pro has higher resolution and better audio, and is made to be more comfortable for users as well. It’s going to be very expensive, and it will still require additional equipment to operate, but it could be poised to become the top VR headset.

QUESTIONS

What’s Apple Up To? – The worst kept secret in tech is that Apple is working on smart glasses to go along with its new AR initiatives. That said, we still don’t know exactly what they’ll look like – or when they’re coming, how much they’ll cost, and what exactly they’ll do. These questions were not addressed at CES, even though some people expect to see Apple AR glasses by this coming fall.

Where Is The Poker? – Poker has been on the radar for VR and AR for some time now. As one article put it, VR makes more of an effort to replicate the real thing than basic online gaming can do, which would seem to make poker and other casino entertainment a very natural avenue for this tech. So far, however, we’ve seen only early attempts, and there was no big news in this regard at CES 2018.

Are Prices Coming Down? – This is what a lot of prospective VR customers are likely waiting to learn, and if anything CES seemed to indicate prices may be staying high. At any rate, the new devices unveiled are going to be expensive. Whether or not newer devices will drive down the prices of earlier editions (as tends to happen with tech) remains to be seen.

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