Sony MR headset takes aim at Apple Vision Pro's spatial future


A woman with dark curly hair wearing the Sony MR headset with the top flipped up

With the Apple Vision Pro mixed-reality headset coming sooner than you expected, Sony is working on its own headset to stake its claim on the emerging tech market. The Sony MR headset, revealed at CES 2024, is the next big entry in the spatial tech industry.

At its CES conference, Sony revealed that its upcoming mixed reality headset is designed for spatial content creation. The Sony MR headset’s main purpose is to allow users to easily model and edit 3D models that they can actively walk around.

With a 4K-per-eye OLED display, the headset is said to be made for the professional market. While the Apple Vision Pro is seemingly made for consumers, the Sony headset instead seems to compete more with Microsoft’s now-military focused HoloLens headset which has been adopted by manufacturing companies such as Boeing.

The Sony MR headset works via two controllers: a large pointer controller and a small ring. In comparison, the Apple Vision Pro entirely makes use of hand tracking to control its new VisionOS user interface.

“With seamless access to virtual objects, creators can work in real space with an immersive development experience,” said Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida.

The Sony MR headset resting on a table in a dim office room
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However, it seems that a lot of 3D artists are not sold on the platform of spatial computing. A recent survey from 3Dmodels, a collective of 3D artists, believe that the act of modelling characters, environments and more in spatial reality will be more cumbersome than using a computer.

“Despite the fact that most 3D artists are skeptical about the new equipment, it has a great chance to become a common tool for both professional studios and freelance or hobby 3D artists,” said 3Dmodels.org’s Serhii Antropov. “Switching to fundamentally different equipment is always a challenge, but every new tool opens up new horizons for creativity."

Sony has yet to reveal the price of its new MR headset. However, with the Apple Vision Pro starting at an eye-watering $3,499, Sony doesn’t have to do much to undercut that price.

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