Canon Introduces Kokomo, a Social VR Platform That Uses its Cameras

Canon announced the development of a virtual reality platform (VR) that it calls Kokomo. It is designed to improve human communication through the combination of VR and “immersive” Canon camera-powered video calling.

Canon describes Kokomo as an “innovative software solution” that allows users to “virtually meet in-person” with friends and family by using a compatible Canon camera and a VR headset.

Canon says that Kokomo will enable users to see and hear each other in real-time, with their live appearances and expressions, in a photo-real setting, while also experiencing premium virtual reality settings in stunning locations such as Malibu, New York, and Hawaii.

Canon claims that the app will make realistic representations of users using Canon’s imaging technology and Canon cameras. This makes it feel like users are talking face-to-face, rather than through avatars or on-screen. However, technically, even though it is a photo-realistic digital reconstruction of a person it is still an avatar. Canon describes what it is doing as the Real “Together” Experience.

“With Kokomo, we tap into Canon’s innovative spirit as well as its heritage of high-quality imagery to allow people to have authentic, real interactions when they meet in VR. ImmersiveCalls should be memorable,” Kazuto Ogawa, president, CEO, Canon U.S.A., Inc., states. “Kokomo will allow people to make meaningful, memorable connections.”

Kokomo is currently displayed at CES with the Canon RF5.2mm f/2.8L dual fisheye lens. According to the company, Kokomo will be available by 2022. It plans to add new destinations and functionalities to the Kokomo app and expand compatibility with Canon cameras.

Canon didn’t specify what cameras, smartphones and lenses would be compatible with the Kokomo platform. However, it is likely that the EOS R5 as well as the previously mentioned RF5.2mm F/2.8L Dual Fisheye lens, will be among those Canon products that can be used with the VR system. Canon has yet to provide any details about the revenue model for the software, whether it be subscription-based or one-time. A subscription model is likely, though, if it is any like the software required to operate the dual fisheye lenses.

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