Canon is investing in new technologies, and announces MREAL. MREAL is a system based on a software platform (MP-100) and a headset (HM-A1). It generates video of the surroundings by the means of two cameras mounted in front above the eyes of who is using the headset, and combines everything with graphics generated by a computer. The result are 3-D images. Canon is targeting manufacturers, researchers, museum exhibit curators and designers, to name a few. Canon will also let developers access the SDK for application development. There is a hands-on video made by Engadget.
Canon’s press release:
MELVILLE N.Y., February 21, 2013 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the introduction of its Canon MREAL System for Mixed Reality (MR), a new imaging solution that simultaneously merges virtual objects with the real world, at full scale and in three dimensions. By combining the rich, visual information of the real world and the flexibility offered by computer-generated images, MR offers an imaging experience that is a step ahead of existing virtual reality technology, which currently only produces computer-generated environments. The MREAL System and its associated professional services inclusive of MR implementation, integration to customer systems, and custom development can benefit companies in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, automotive, construction, aerospace, medical, defense, and entertainment, to name a few.
“In today’s competitive markets, companies are constantly looking for solutions that can help them introduce new products to market in a timely and efficient fashion. The new Canon MREAL System for Mixed Reality allows decision-makers to evaluate a product’s design and operability like never before,” said Sam Yoshida, vice president and general manager, Marketing, Business Imaging Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A. “Canon has a very strong commitment to the augmented reality space, and by leveraging our strong heritage and leadership in optics, we intend to deliver solutions based upon Mixed Reality for use in industries including manufacturing, aerospace and entertainment.”
Key benefits of the MREAL System are:
Productivity: Effective product lifecycle management places an emphasis on maximizing productivity to help reduce time to market, optimize designs, improve product quality, and save time, cost and resources. The MREAL System enables customers to develop digital prototypes, identify potential design concerns to reduce prototype iterations, incorporate required characteristics more quickly and get products to market sooner.
Interaction: The MREAL System allows customers to make the leap from screen to seen. With this new system, you can experience, examine, modify, manipulate, discuss, analyze, or present designs with a level of realism that allows complicated ideas and plans to come to fruition quickly and efficiently.
Attention To Detail: The MREAL System brings users to a 3D world where they can interact with virtually any given scene, landscape, environment or object. Designers can closely examine how components manufactured at different locations are expected to come together, or see how light will reflect off the interior trim of a car. Users can view intricate details of the 3D image from almost any angle.
Feedback: When the audience is immersed in the MR experience, users gain tremendous insight. Whether collaborating on ideas, discussing new product designs, securing customer input, generating investor interest, winning management buy-in, or just entertaining an audience, MR brings many levels of value to all participants.
The Canon MREAL System for Mixed Reality — which consists of a head-mounted display (HMD) HM-A1 and the MR Platform Software MP-100 — creates the illusion that computer-generated visuals exist within the real world by deploying the following Canon technologies:
Head-Mounted Display (HMD)
Two video cameras inside the head-mounted display (HMD), located in front of each eye, capture video from the real world, which is then processed and sent to a computer. Using state-of-the-art Canon image processing and directional-sensor data, the computer-generated graphics and the real world are combined with high precision and are displayed on the small monitors located inside the head-mounted display (HMD).
An advanced optical system enlarges the video displayed on the small monitors to create high-impact, three-dimensional images. The innovative and patented free-form prism features a unique three-sided configuration that produces clear, solid-looking images with low distortion, reducing the impact of optical aberrations, even in peripheral areas, and further enhances the realism of the experience.
The MR Platform is designed to enhance a company’s existing design workflow. The software integrates with leading design applications including Siemens PLM Software’s NX™ software, a leading integrated solution for computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering (CAD/CAM/CAE), and the 3D visualization software RTT DeltaGen, which renders mixed reality images through the Canon head-mounted display, in lifelike realism.
Through Canon’s Developer Support program, Canon also offers a MR Platform Software Development Kit. The MR SDK enables users to create software applications capable of leveraging Canon’s MREAL System. The MR Platform SDK provides an ideal way to tightly integrate existing CAD and Graphic Design software with the Canon MREAL System.
“Canon’s MR Platform SDK has proven to be an effective way of tightly integrating RTT’s DeltaGen software with MREAL Product, said Hillary Forsythe, marketing director, RTT USA Inc. “The combination of RTT DeltaGen and Canon’s MREAL Product provides an ideal solution to customers focused on lessening overall product development time, driving rapid prototyping and shortening go-to-market cycles.”
A multitude of industries can leverage this enhanced rendering technology throughout the product lifecycle management (PLM) process to help streamline design processes, which can help get products to market quicker and can ultimately reduce costs. Automotive and manufacturing companies can utilize this solution at all stages of product development and a wide array of applications, including, but not limited to, digital prototyping, service training, plant design and factory layout. The Canon MREAL System has the capacity to expand virtually any existing design application in all sectors, including university research, entertainment and museum exhibits.
The Canon MREAL System for Mixed Reality, along with the services required to integrate into existing customer environments and applications, will be available immediately. Pricing will vary depending on system configurations and in accordance with usage requirements. More information on the Canon MEAL System for Mixed Reality can be found at www.usa.canon.com/mixedreality.
About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions. With approximately $40 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), ranks third overall in U.S. patents registered in 2012† and is one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies in 2012. In 2012, Canon U.S.A. has received the PCMag.com Readers’ Choice Award for Service and Reliability in the digital camera and printer categories for the ninth consecutive year, and for camcorders for the past two years. Canon U.S.A. is committed to the highest level of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it distributes. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company’s RSS news feed by visiting www.usa.canon.com/rss.