Canon announced a new entry into its AR headset hardware category called MREAL S1. The company’s latest enterprise-focused headset provides passthrough AR and can be strapped to both a head mount for hands-free viewing, or a housing meant for handheld interactions.

Unlike the MREAL Display MD-20, which was unveiled earlier this year, you might describe MREAL S1 as technically a VR headset with passthrough AR, which is achieved by the inclusion of stereoscopic camera sensors on the front of the device and VR displays, providing a ‘mixed reality’ view to the user. The headset also includes two additional optical sensors for positional tracking.

Image courtesy Canon Japan

Canon Japan hasn’t released specs, prices or availability yet, however the company says on its Japan-facing site “the smallest and lightest video see-through MR device in the history of MREAL.”

MREAL S1 requires a PC tether to function (ie. not a standalone headset), however the company says its been created to work with mobile workstations, and is both cheaper and more portable than its predecessors, the MD-20 and 2016-era MD-10. Of course, some degree of that portability is owed by the headset’s notable lack of any sort of light-blocking blinders, although that’s been a design choice the company has made with all of their MREAL headsets to date.

Image courtesy Canon Japan

As you’d imagine with any enterprise-focused AR headset, the head-mount version of MREAL S1 is designed for work with industrial applications, which might require two hands such as CAD software. The handheld style however was created for easier use at exhibitions.

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Both MD-20 and MD-10 include this level of convertibility, however MREAL S1 is substantially smaller in size, slimming down to about the size of a smartphone. Its handheld configuration is also much less ungainly, as Canon has done away with the giant handles seen in previous models.

Like its previous AR headsets, MREAL S1 is likely to be a Japan-only device for companies there looking to partner with the Canon.

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  • dk

    if it was stand alone u could use it as a 180 3d camera too

  • xyzs

    lol I remember their first attempt with their ugly basic vr headset that was sold 20 000 dollars or so.

  • Canon + AR = Way more $$ than it’s worth

  • TrumpSupporter

    I think the best model is of nreal which all AR/VR cos. should follow:
    1. To look like spectacles , all else looks uncool.
    2. Should be light weight.
    3. Use projection technology(from sideways or from up to down)
    4. No on board processing to reduce weight. Processor box or mobile to be in pocket.
    5. Connector : USB3 or similar tech.

    Additionally I would prefer using fiber optics to project RGB (3 each for each eye) to deliver images from processor box (in pocket) to reduce weight further. The processor box can even be combined with a 10k removable powerbank(to provide freedom of movement)

  • I tried writing Canon asking for specs or price but they never answered me

    • silvaring

      You think that knob on the front is the same function as the current back knobs for VR headsets? Looks like its height adjustable on the knob too…