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  • Kyle Chua

CES 2023: Canon Debuts Kokomo VR Meeting Platform

Canon is not usually associated with software-based services, being primarily known for its optical and imaging hardware technologies. That, however, might soon change, with the Japanese camera giant unveiling a virtual reality (VR) platform at CES 2023.

Credit: Canon U.S.A.

Kokomo is said to be Canon's vision of the future – a smartphone app that allows you to communicate with your friends or coworkers in virtual space. These ImmersiveCalls, as they're being called, leverage the brand's imaging expertise to create a VR experience that makes you feel like you're meeting and conversing with people in-person.


Before each session, the app scans your face using your smartphone's camera and creates a 3D render. It then asks you to put on your VR headset, so that it can use the motion sensors to capture your virtual avatar. After which, you're finally transported to the virtual space where you'll have your call. Once you're in, the app can automatically adjust your avatar's eyes and facial features to match your facial expressions in real life.


You'll, of course, need to have a compatible VR headset and smartphone to use the app.


"With Kokomo we’re tapping into Canon’s innovative spirit and heritage of high-quality imaging to enable people to have real, authentic interactions when they get together in VR," said Kazuto Ogawa, President and CEO of Canon U.S.A. Inc. "Every ImmersiveCall should be a memorable experience.”

Credit: Canon U.S.A.

You can also choose from different virtual spaces for your calls, including California, New York or Hawaii, depending on what suits the conversation's mood best. The app also allows you to project videos and photos in the virtual space, a feature that can be useful when you, for example, have to present during a meeting.


Canon's American subsidiary, Canon U.S.A. Inc. has been in charge of developing Kokomo, according to Nikkei Asia. The company looks to launch the app by summer of this year, with the U.S. and Canada possibly having access to it as early as February. The app will have a free tier at launch that covers all the basic services, but the plan is to later charge a subscription fee as more virtual spaces and features are added. Canon said it'll also expand the list of cameras that are compatible with the app.


“Kokomo will enable people to create memorable, meaningful connections," added Ogawa.

 
  • Canon at CES 2023 unveiled Kokomo, a smartphone app that allows you to communicate with your friends or coworkers in virtual space.

  • The Japanese camera giant is leveraging its imaging expertise to create a VR experience that makes you feel like you're meeting and conversing with people in-person.

  • The app is expected to launch by summer of this year, with the U.S. and Canada possibly having access to it as early as February.




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