Virtual reality and augmented reality are often mentioned in the same breath when we discuss the future of computing. However, despite the similarities the two realities have yet to merge in any meaningful way. One of the first to warp the two realities into something tangible is Sulon Technologies with their VR + AR head mounted display, the Sulon Cortex.
Sulon Technologies engineers and designs the Cortex, a “spatially aware head mounted computing platform” that delivers a contextually aware augmented virtual reality experience. Here’s an idea of how it could look.
You may notice the video is shown in a very white and empty building, not the average joe’s living room. Sulon is currently finalizing the Cortex dev kit, which will ship a little later this year. It’s very much in it’s early stages, but the video concept resembles the Magic Leap just another day in the office clip or the Microsoft HoloLens Clip. The execution is far from comparable, but the general concept is in there.
The Cortex is a full on HMD, a “wearable gaming platform” that combines AR and VR in a standalone solution, and they were awarded the “Top Heads Up Display” at CES for this accomplishment. It’s still a dev kit though, and like any dev kit it needs support from the community and lots of developers building cool experiences to make the Cortex a feasible consumer product. It’s not cheap though, getting your hands on one will cost you $499.
Commenting on how Sulon plans to work with developers, CEO Dhan Balachand said,
“An important part of this process has been having discussions with AR and VR developers to learn about the capabilities they are looking for in AR/VR hardware and the type of software development tools and frameworks they use and like the most. We have also started to build relationships with a range of developers in the hopes that they will work with the Cortex dev kit and create new and exciting applications that blend the worlds of augmented and virtual reality together. We’ve been doing this in a myriad of ways – from our presence at key trade shows like CES and GDC to direct outreach and partnership discussions.”
So the question remains…will enough devs jump in and build experiences that will make the Cortex happen? In a world full of Rifts, Vives, Morpheus and Cardboards it is hard to tell. We will be watching and covering Sulon as they get closer to their dev kit release.