You just ‘thought’ that the HoloLens 2 was the most expensive augmented reality device on the market.
As with a lot of tech stuff, Japan is here to raise the bar with what is arguably the most expensive AR wearable we’ve ever seen: the Canon MREAL S1.
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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 showed off back in 2013, when Google Glass was originally launched 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 didn’t stop the Japanese company, best known for its cameras, from penetrating the high-end Microsoft’s HoloLens corporate space currently dominates.
Technically, the MREAL S1 is a combination AR and VR device, but given the open nature of the headset body and the inability to block out outside light like most VR headsets, this seems much more suitable for AR interactions. The device was actually unveiled a few months ago, but this week Canon finally released a detailed video demo (at the bottom of this page) to show how the MREAL S1 works.
We have not demonstrated the device, but the video indicates that hand following and interactions with complex 3D models are possible while using the device. The official site does not list the price, but the Japanese technical site Impress watch reports the $ 38,000 prize, which includes software, the PC needed to operate the device, and maintenance costs.
Let’s face it, MREAL S1 looks nice Ghost in the shell futuristic, which is cool, but it just doesn’t seem as practical as the HoloLens 2. And at $ 3,500, the HoloLens 2 suddenly seems like an unlikely bargain.