Would you wear a virtual reality headset if they were roughly the size of a pair of glasses?
Panasonic introduced MeganeX, a lightweight, compact VR headset that weighs just over eight ounces, much lighter than traditional headsets currently available.
The headset will run applications from SteamVR, a platform for virtual reality content available on other headsets such as HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
The MeganeX also boasts a foldable frame with built-in speakers.
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The design of the headset addresses one of the issues with mainstream adoption of VR: the size of current headsets.
“It is necessary for VR glasses to be lightweight and comfortable to wear as well as deliver life-like images in order to be widely accepted to consumers,” said Takuma Iwasa, CEO of Panasonic subsidiary Shiftall, in a statement.
Panasonic did not reveal a release date for the headset, or whether they will operate without being physically connected to a computer.
VR achieved massive buzz in the 2010s with the arrival of the Oculus Rift, but interest has since waned due to high prices and the bulkiness of the hardware. Early VR headset models required users to be tethered to either a PC or video game console.
However, VR is seen as a core component in the shift toward the metaverse, a digital universe hyped by tech companies, which combines elements of VR, augmented reality and social media in a virtual world.
Companies like Facebook parent Meta, Microsoft, Roblox, and Fortnite makers Epic Games all have claimed stakes in the metaverse through various applications or games.
The metaverse is expected to be a hot topic this week at the annual tech trade show CES.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.