Sony unveils Next-Gen VR headset in major prototype debut

Electronics giant Sony has revealed new technologies, including a virtual reality (VR) headset that could double the resolution of standard models thanks to its new OLED lens.

Sony released the cutting-edge products as part of Sony Technology Day, an online exhibit showcasing the company’s latest prototypes under the banner of “technology that inspires emotion”. And there is plenty there to inspire.

For gamers, the crowning jewel of the company’s new products will be its new 8K VR headset prototype with its Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) microdisplay. The headset employs two small 4K OLED displays, giving the user a total 8K viewing experience. Its multiple CMOS image sensors also provide improved image quality, reducing processing time and therefore the headset’s latency.

That means the user can experience high-definition VR images in real time – including the texture of materials and human expressions based on movements of the viewer’s head – making it perfect for use in the entertainment field. As the technology takes off, Sony’s VR headset could soon be facilitating much more realistic virtual concerts and higher-resolution gaming.

Sony also used the event to highlight how its new tech is helping to fuse the physical and virtual worlds. A good example is the data visualisation technology developments in its Hawk-Eye Innovations Ltd’s Electronic Performance Tracking Systems (EPTS), used in football to track players and the ball in real-time with pinpoint accuracy. Sony’s new Virtual Recreation is being used to manipulate the data obtained from EPTS and video review systems to create virtual outputs.

It’s advanced image processing, AI recognition technology perfected by Hawk-Eye is being fused with the company’s broadcast output capabilities and image sensor technology. Entire games, including details down to the posture of the players, can be converted into data, making it possible to visualise performances that were, says Sony, previously impossible to capture. In the future, the Sony Group and Hawk-Eye hope to apply this technology and contribute to various entertainment businesses, including industries outside of sport.


Virtual production revolutions

Sony is also revolutionising Virtual Production – new video production technology that synthesises live-action video and computer graphics (CG) in real time, by using Crystal LED and cinema cameras. With the company’s “In-Camera VFX,”, a 3DCG image linked with the movement of the camera is projected as a background on an LED display installed in the studio behind the performer. This frees creators from the bother of CG composition needed for conventional green background shooting, as well as restrictions such as weather, time and place.

Its Crystal LED is an LED display that combines Sony’s LED control technology and signal processing technology and projects high-resolution images with high brightness and a wide viewing angle. Combined with the company’s digital cinema camera “Venice 2,” equipped with the newly developed 8.6K image sensor offering high-resolution and a wide colour gamut, the technologies have a high affinity for colour reproduction and tonal expression, making content production much more realistic, says Sony.

Finally, Sony unveiled three new technologies being used in the PlayStation5: Tempest 3D audio, haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. Tempest 3D audio can achieve extremely accurate audio positioning, so that the sound can be heard from anywhere 360° around the listener – as if inside a sphere with countless speakers. Haptic feedback realises a variety of tactile responses by changing the vibration of the newly developed dual device to provide an immersive experience. The adaptive triggers adopted on the wireless controller enable powerful real-time tactile sensation in response to in-game actions. With such releases, Sony is essentially pushing forward its main aim, to “fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology.”

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Photo – top of page: (Photo: Screenshot, Sony Official Youtube channel)

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