Canon has debuted a new virtual reality video system named Kokomo, which enables users to make face-to-face, real-time "ImmersiveCall" video calls in an experiential 3D environment.
Unveiled at CES 2022 (opens in new tab), the still in-development Kokomo software is described by Canon as an "exciting new way of connecting" and "an innovation in virtual reality that combines the 3D experience of beautiful and life-like VR destinations with video calling.
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"At the heart of Kokomo, is a Real 'Together' Experience, which has helped to shape the development of the technology. The purpose of the technology is to provide people the opportunity to have real interactions when they get together, so they can have memorable experiences in a brand-new way."
The system will require a VR headset, and will be powered by Canon cameras along with a newly designed app for your smartphone. As you might expect, the system will ultimately accommodate the innovative Canon RF 5.2mm f/2.8L Dual Fisheye Lens (opens in new tab) – a specifically 3D optic designed to deliver immersive 8K VR content for the Canon EOS R5 (opens in new tab).
Watch video: Canon Kokomo VR
However, the promotional material appears to show the system working with an EOS M-series camera – suggesting that having the latest technology (and the very latest camera body) won't necessarily be a price of entry.
"The Kokomo software uses Canon cameras and imaging technology to create realistic representations of users, so virtual reality calls feel like you are interacting face-to-face rather than through a screen or an avatar. So, even when people can't "be there" with the people they love, they can feel like they are there.
"And this is just the beginning. Canon will soon be announcing the official launch date of Kokomo and has exciting plans to add new destinations, functionalities, and features to the Kokomo software, along with expanded compatibility with Canon cameras and lenses".
With companies like Facebook already trying to establish a new metaverse, we're intrigued to see how Kokomo will fit into our future interactions…