Surprise ! Is just what it was with the announcement in late October from Microsoft that they will be entering the VR Race with a affordable VR HMD that not only includes
“Eye Tracking”, but 6 Degrees of freedom with “Inside Out” tracking. Allowing you to have a virtual operating space without outside complicated setup hardware. Simple room mapping will be done with cameras.
While this is rumored to be VR/AR mixed reality device, it has not been stated by Microsoft in any clear way to support that thus far.
Partnering with other manufacture’s, there seems to be plans for a whole string of hardware starting in the spring of 2017.
All of it seems to center on Windows 10 Update coming soon. Working within Windows Holographic Technology.
It would be interesting to know if the new device is set to work with the New XBOX. And since the timing is right, I would think so.
But at a retail price target of just $299, it is sure to have the hearts and minds of many who have been priced out of the VR market since this may only require a graphics upgrade to your existing computer.
Intel’s Project Alloy is a game changer in the making.
It’s not just a VR or AR device or both. It is a open hardware platform used in conjunction with Microsoft’s open software platform in Windows 10 whereas anyone will be able to launch a product quickly and be able to use it to collaborate with other devices in short order.
How soon to a product launch?
It would be this writers opinion that while we are likely to see a consumer release in the spring of 2017, it will likely be a developers edition. While many devices will blur the real/virtual lines in tech, it will take some additional production work to produce consumer content. But if this will display AR and VR formats as-is, there is no reason it can’t be produced for that as we wait for MERGED content.
It’s important to note that this is a Open Hardware Platform that allows others to built from and to it. As well as Windows Holographic Platform is a open software platform that allows anyone to interface to and through it. The two together will make for some interesting advancements quite quickly in head mounted display tech and software experiences to go with that hardware.