You only ‘thought’ the HoloLens 2 was the most expensive augmented reality device on the market.
As with many things tech, Japan is here to up the ante with what may indeed be the most expensive AR-dedicated wearable we’ve seen—the Canon MREAL S1.
The device costs a whopping $38,400 (4 million yen) and it’s just the latest in a long line of MREAL AR devices that the company has shown off as far back as 2013, back when Google Glass was originally debuted to the public.
Despite Canon’s long history of developing the MREAL line of devices, the system hasn’t really caught on internationally, but that hasn’t stopped the Japanese firm, best known for its cameras, from trying to penetrate the high-end enterprise space Microsoft’s HoloLens currently dominates.
Technically, the MREAL S1, is a combination AR and VR device, but given the open nature of the headset’s housing and its inability to block outside light like most VR headsets, this seems far more suited to AR interactions. The device was actually unveiled a few months ago, but this week Canon finally released a detailed video demo (bottom of this page) to show off how the MREAL S1 works.
We haven’t demoed the device, but the video indicates that hand tracking and interactions with complex 3D models is possible while using the device. The official site doesn’t mention the price, but Japanese tech site Impress Watch is reporting the $38k price, which will include software, the PC needed to operate the device, as well as maintenance costs.
Let’s be honest, MREAL S1 looks pretty Ghost In The Shell futuristic, which is cool, but it simply doesn’t seem as practical as the HoloLens 2. And, at $3,500, suddenly the HoloLens 2 seems like an unlikely bargain.