Mixed Reality headsets confusingly consolidate virtual and augmented reality… but Microsoft might have a point.
Mixed reality headsets from the likes of Acer, Dell and HP are Microsoft’s “affordable” answer to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
The overriding experience is as you would expect from VR – immersive screen, movement tracking, ability to explore new worlds – but there is a twist. Front mounted cameras can place real objects in a virtual world, or virtual objects in the real world.
Microsoft think the terms virtual reality and augmented reality are living on borrowed time and this new wave of devices, available to pre-order in dev-kit form, consolidates both technologies and works with most standard PC’s.
So, MR as it shall now be known, works with Windows 10 and has exciting possibilities for gaming and other experiential adventures. However, what really struck UNWRAPP during an Acer demo in New York is its practical work applications.
Imagine donning your headset whilst working from home to navigate a virtual office and access Windows’ suite of tools such as Word or Excel. It certainly adds a bit of extra excitement to the burden of day-to-day admin.
First out of the blocks is Acer’s offering. The royal blue headset uses two high resolution LCD panels offering a 2.89-inch diagonal display. There’s a 95-degree horizontal field of view with a 90Hz refresh rate, built-in audio, plus HDMI and USB connectivity.
Coders wishing to get ahead of the crowd can pre-order the dev-kit now with deliveries starting in August. A consumer version is expected to arrive later this year and will be available from UK retailers.