It’s almost the end of 2023 and we’re still years away from flying cars and Minority Report-esque Augmented Reality (AR) tech – but the tech giants of the world haven’t stopped trying to bring these once Science Fiction tech to life. As technology ramps up quickly year after year, so too does the dream of having AR fully integrated into our everyday lives come closer to reality. And the half-stop measure to get there, it seems, is MR or Mixed-Reality. Or at least it’s that according to the geniuses at OPPO.
During the recent OPPO Tech Insider Media junket, we were treated with 2 days of the brand showcasing their various tech innovations as well as their research & development labs– one of which tests out OPPO’s foray into their new XR tech (or Extended Reality – which AR, VR, and MR coincides).
The dream of the industry is still AR – a space where technology and reality can easily co-exist in a seamless plane. Where VR allows you to jump from the real world to a fully virtual world, AR allows tech to interact with your current surroundings. This, apparently, takes huge computing powers – something that most modern smartphones and devices are not fully optimized for yet.
This is where MR or Mixed Reality comes in. MR allows virtual objects to appear in real world spaces via the camera app of your smartphone – and does so without glitching too much. During the presentation at the OPPO R&D Labs at Shenzhen, China, the brand showcased 3 instances of MR and 1 VR tool that the brand developed.
One MR demo showcased an animated Ollie, OPPO’s fun-loving mascot, going through animation sequences as he seemingly interacts with you (or with anybody) on screen. The other one is a static phone floating on screen, and the last one showcases a video window that you can use for possible live presentations – sort of a picture-in-picture edit without the need of 3rd party editing software. We also saw their MR Glass Goggles system as well complete with headset console and wireless controllers.
While VR headsets are nothing new, the OPPO MR Glass (Goggles) have this wild lens calibration wherein if you know your eyeglass prescription grade, you can input those numbers on to the headset natively and you do not have to use your eyeglasses to wear the console. WILD.
We asked Yi Xi, Director of XR Technology at OPPO if this device will be made to market any time soon and he confirmed that, while that is the dream, for now these devices are being sent for developers only.
According to him, we’re quite a while from when VR and XR will be readily accepted and seamlessly integrated in our day-to-day. You only have to look at how slow the progress is for VR games to proliferate the market as an example – but that doesn’t mean it’s a loss cause.
“We feel that the timing is not right (to put this out on the market). We want to see more applications, right? What happens right now is…gaming is one of the biggest applications (of this technology), but we feel it’s not enough for next-generation spatial computing. So, we want to work with our partners and developers to see(what) more (can be done).”
Virtual Reality, Augmented-Reality, and Extended Reality should all but feel natural for the people in general to fully accept and assimilate them. Take the smartwatch as a perfect example of how tech has merged so well with our everyday lives.
The smartwatch jumped from being a device able to tell time more accurately, count how many steps you’ve done for the day, and monitor your heart rate to a device that extends the capabilities of your smartphone in the most naturalistic and convenient way possible. Message notifications, calls, and navigation apps work so well with smartwatches that it’s hard for me not to use the device anymore. Even during workouts, I feel a workout isn’t counted if I couldn’t track it via my smartwatch. OPPO understands this behavior hence their dedication to the accuracy of Health and Sports Science via their huge Health Lab.
According to Wei Zhao, Algorithm Team Leader, OPPO Health Labs, recent trend shows that more and more people are paying more attention to their health. The Health Labs was a response for people to get a more accurate reading on their health and sports performance. Which is why the OPPO Health Lab in Shenzhen, China looks like a mini gym with various testing sensors that can be hooked up to different exercise devices. During our visit, OPPO invited two athletes to run on 2 different treadmills with one just monitoring and scanning oxygen and stress levels and another one monitoring full body movements. All the information taken are logged in and distilled to create a more accurate wearable device – like the OPPO Watch 4 Pro that was on display during our visit.
Normally I like my smartwatch looking like traditional watches, but the OPPO Watch 4 Pro might just change my mind. The sleek, curved 1.91” LTPO AMOLED Display smartwatch looks absolutely stunning in either black or silver. The watch has a rotating crown that brings up the highly dynamic menu and an ECG button as well. Among the smartwatches that we’ve seen this year, it seems that the OPPO Watch 4 Pro can go toe-to-toe with its contemporaries. Here’s hoping that OPPO Philippines bring this pretty adorable smartwatch to our shores. Aside from a very snazzy-looking arm candy, the OPPO Watch 4 Pro would definitely compliment the current OPPO smartphone devices in the market right now. It’s a great way to extend the tech beyond the smartphone and seamlessly integrate with your daily activities.
OPPO is aiming to create its own tech-life ecosystem by pouring in time and effort on these next-gen solutions. The hope is that by utilizing these techs, gathering data, making people more accustomed to using XR tech in their everyday lives, OPPO could help usher in a time when AR is as prevalent as wearing a smartwatch. For us here at UnGeek, we cannot wait for that day to come.
Want more industry stories from OPPO? Here’s a look at how they made the OPPO Find N2 Flip super sturdy.