Oppo unveils mixed reality headset before Apple’s VR headset release.

Tech giants like Apple and Microsoft are reportedly developing their own virtual and augmented reality headsets. However, China’s Oppo seeks to gain a first-mover advantage by unveiling its ‘mixed reality’ headset – the Oppo MR Glass Developer Edition – on Wednesday, May 31st.

Mixed Reality refers to technology that combines both virtual reality and augmented reality. Oppo believes that mixed reality is the next game-changing platform after smartphones, and is optimistic about its future. “It has the potential to become a new computing platform,” said Xu Yi, director of XR technology at Oppo in an interview with CNBC. The Oppo MR Glass Developer Edition is designed for developers to build apps and test mixed reality technology.

The headset is bulkier than others and comes with controllers that allow users to interact with the virtual objects in front of them. Xu admits that for mixed reality to become a successful product, there are several things that need to be improved, including the technology and applications. “Everybody wants to do AR because it has huge potential but the technology is not there yet, it may be several years away,” he added.

Oppo has been working on its augmented reality (AR) glasses for a few years. In 2020, Oppo released the latest version of its Oppo Air Glass 2, which looks like a pair of glasses.

Mixed Reality to Full AR

Oppo hopes to entice developers and create applications that will boost demand for mixed reality with the launch of its mixed-reality glasses. The headset will be available for developers in China during the second half of the year, but the company has no plans to make it available commercially.

Oppo’s Xu believes that mixed reality will eventually lead to full AR. The augmented reality market is still in its infancy and has yet to mature for the mass market. Xu believes that everyone around us will eventually be wearing an AR device. He added:

“AR will be something similar to smartphones. Because the ideal AR is where you can wear [it] all day, with all functionalities, it will one day be comparable to size of smartphone market.”

All technology giants are currently taking competition further in the AR and VR space. Microsoft is working on its HoloLens device, Samsung is actively working on a roadmap for its own mixed-reality devices, and Chinese technology company Xiaomi has unveiled its own AR headset. Meanwhile, Apple has long been rumored to be developing its own headset. In a recent interview with GQ, Apple CEO Tim Cook discussed the potential appeal of a mixed-reality headset for future users.