MWC demos innovations at the 'edge of real and virtual'

MWC demos innovations at the ‘edge of real and virtual’

05 MAR 2015

Peel Technologies and Avegant demonstrated products at Mobile World Congress 2015’s final keynote – a smart remote app and a headset that becomes an 80 inch screen – which their makers claim will become an essential part of life in the near future.

Joerg Tewes, the CEO of Avegant, talked about glyph, a headset that looks and acts like noise-cancelling headphones, but when flipped down to cover the eyes serves as a screen.

It makes use of virtual retinal display, with a micromirror array and a combination of optics to reflect an image directly onto the retina, effectively using the back of a user’s eyeball as a screen. This is said to offer very low latency, to prevent nausea.

The resultant image looks like an 80-inch screen, eight feet away from the user – roughly a 40-45 degree field of view.

He believes this product, connected to wearables, will replace smartphone and TV screens and will be great for watching movies on the go without having to hold a tablet or phone in an uncomfortable position, or in a room without disturbing others, and has potential for the gaming industry as well.

Not only that, users will also be able to explore 360 degree videos – something YouTube has said it will support –  and images through this headset just by moving their head around.

The company started off with investment from Kickstarter and in December closed an extended $9.37 million series A round of venture funding led by Intel Capital and NHN Investment.

The challenge now is to build a successful consumer brand and leverage this technology for other products, said Tewes.

Peel, on the other hand, says it is already very successful – it claims to be the biggest IoT platform in the world. Its smart remote app has more than 100 million actives users and is connected to 250 million devices globally, serving 70 million homes.

They have not only aimed to replace the traditional remote, but simplify it, by reducing the number of buttons required, and using images of the content that is playing to replace channel numbers.

Partners include Samsung, and the new Galaxy S6 comes with Peel pre-loaded, one of the company’s biggest achievements, according to Thiru Arunachalam, CEO.

Their future plans include creating a ‘Peel-in living room experience’, where everything in the home is controlled by their app, and they believe they will play a big role in catalysing the take-up of connected devices.

They have already moved on from TVs to air conditioners and will soon be moving on to light bulbs and intend to double their user base in a year to 200 million plus, and 500 million devices.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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