With CES (Consumer Electronics Show) on the horizon next week, the tech world is on the edge of their seats. From virtual reality hardware previews to innovative ways to drive your electric car, there is going to be no shortage of excitement next week. Each year at this event, we are shown what the true edges of technology are, and then introduced to a company that is trying to push those said boundaries.
We couldn’t be more excited for this event. We expect a few exciting showcases from some of the biggest tech companies in the world, and some of them are going to be focused around virtual reality. Below, we will are predicting, breaking down, and speculating which of these companies have a legitimate chance at ‘wowing’ the public, and what they could possibly be showcasing next week.
Oculus is no stranger to big events, leaks, and average hardware. With the Oculus Quest being the most impressive standalone headset on the market, Oculus is already in the driver’s seat for VR without a PC. What could be impressive though, is the ability to put their hand tracking inside of popular games with minimal hiccups. Hand tracking is just the start, as this has been showcased before. As for something new and exciting from Oculus, we expect much more
There are two different options that we could see from Oculus next week. Between their AR glasses and foveated rendering with eye-tracking, we would more likely see the AR glasses. The AR glasses have already been announced, and the hardware is more than likely already in production. The eye-tracking inside of an Oculus headset would require some more hardware, and that is something we think is at least 8 months away from being introduced.
If Oculus is wanting to make a big splash at CES this year, they’ll need to show a little of what they have been doing with augmented reality. Without that, they’ll have a hard time beating out some other impressive VR advancements.
The most successful company in the VR world is Oculus, but they were not the company with the most potential three years ago. Many consumers believed HTC Vive would be in the driver’s seat at this point, but that wasn’t the case. Vive decided to take the enterprise route, and it had mixed results. They attempted to jump right back into the consumer side of production, but the Vive Cosmos was riddled with problems upon release.
If Vive is going to become the consumer powerhouse that many thought it would be, they’ll need to create and show a headset that is even more consumer-focused than the Cosmos. This would look a lot like the Quest, but hopefully better.
You aren’t going to beat the price of the Quest without sacrificing some quality, so slightly increasing the price while drastically improving the quality is what Vive will need to do. There have been rumors rumbling about a headset like this being in production, and this is something that we could very well see next week. No wireless adapters, no wires, and no limits. Let’s hope to see a true standalone gaming headset from Vive.
With Valve coming off an incredible year of hardware sales and ended the year with the exciting announcement of Half-Life: Alyx. Valve wasn’t too big in the VR world last year at this time, and going into 2020 they are arguably in the best position going forward. They have a firm grasp on the high-end consumers as well as the most anticipated PC VR game in their sole possession as well.
For Valve to impress people next week, they will have to improve off their already-great hardware. They work with SteamVR to have perfect software, so all focus should (and will be) on what they can bring to the hardware. The Index is top of the line for quality, but they’ll need really show their guns at CES this year.
This could come in a number of new abilities, but we think eye tracking would be the way to go, especially with nice foveated rendering. The Valve headset already has near-perfect resolution, and the company is more than capable of improving it. We aren’t sure if we will get another headset this year from Valve, but showing what they plan to do is all they’ll need to do this upcoming CES.
Samsung has slowly fallen out of the virtual reality realm, but there is evidence of the company keeping an eye on the trends. Many think that the future of computing is through the cloud, and the same goes for how you get content on your VR headset. 5G is going to be a major player in streaming your games or apps to your headset, and Samsung might be in perfect position to intercept every consumer.
There isn’t a perfect platform out there yet, and none of the current platforms support VR streaming. If Samsung plans on being back in the trends with virtual reality, they won’t be getting there with the hardware they have had. They will be thrown back in the game if they can provide solid 5G streaming to any VR headset.
There is going to be a Samsung Keynote at CES next week. This is going to be focused on 5G streaming, and will be presented by Hyun-Suk Kim, the President and CEO of consumer electronics at Samsung. Samsung is sending their best, so you can expect somewhat ground-breaking ideas and showcases after this keynote, as it will be kicking CES off this year.
Varjo has had an active year, but we expect them to be even more active with the consumers in 2020. The company released an impressive second version of their VR headset, but it is mostly enterprise-focused. In today’s world, many people want a headset that is versatile enough to be a gaming machine as well as a headset to work on. Varjo has the most impressive display in the world for a VR headset, but its one-use ideology is slowing killing their value.
Although it might be a small fix, we think it would change the direction of the company. If Varjo were to strike a deal with Steam to be a supported headset, their fortune could change quickly. Varjo would also need to release their own controllers with precise moments for more and quick movements for gaming. This would instantly be the best gaming headset on the market, and a lite version would sell just as fast as the Quest did during the holiday season.
Once Varjo ventures to the consumer side of business, they will receive much more publicity and popularity with their fantastic hardware. We expect to see something satisfying next week from them.
In all honesty, we have given up on Google when it comes to virtual reality and augmented reality. Google Cardboard flopped, Google Glass never turned out, and they constantly are scrapping projects before they have a chance to gain some traction. If Google is wanting to make a splash in an industry that they have already failed, they’ll need to impress with some new edge-cutting hardware.
Our prediction? They won’t. We don’t expect Google to be a major player in VR right now, and CES won’t be the place to show off a bad effort on a new headset. We don’t expect much from Google’s hardware anyway, so don’t expect anything new or exciting next week.
The Hololens and Hololens 2 have been amazing hits, but Microsoft hasn’t explored the consumer’s side of AR/VR yet. We don’t think CES is the time to show anything new, as it might get drowned out, but you never know.
5G streaming from the newest Xbox to a VR headset is a possibility, but that doesn’t mean its an idea they want to dive into. If Xbox were to show anything regarding virtual reality, we would be pleasantly surprised. We would most likely see an augmented reality pair of glasses make the scene. These would need to be focused on consumers, but it isn’t a possibility that is too far-fetched.
We think that Microsoft would be a great company to start the mass adoption of AR glasses you wear all day. We think that will be the next step for them, and that is what we expected to be revealed at CES next week.