Intel to launch VR headset
By Digital News Asia August 18, 2016
- Headset will compete against Oculus Rift, HTC Vive
- Capable of running Microsoft's Windows Holographic
CPU giant Intel is getting into VR and will compete against Facebook's Oculus Rift and HTC's Vive. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced that the company is working on a standalone mixed reality headset, codenamed Project Alloy. It will be compatible with Microsoft's Windows Holographic platform.
Details are sketchy at this point about what is expected of developers. Krzanich stated that Intel is planning an open source release of Project Alloy's hardware specifications and APIs late next year. But that would be more than a year behind rivals Facebook and HTC. It might even lag behind Magic Leap which has secured an investment from Google.
The standalone version of Project Alloy would be powerful enough to run most current VR games, but not all of them. This could prove problematic for end users as they cannot be absolutely certain that all current VR titles will run perfectly on Intel's VR platform.
In some respects, it seems Project Alloy is similar to Microsoft's HoloLens. It would be a battery-powered headset which will merge the virtual and real world to create mixed reality. But unlike Microsoft's HoloLens, Intel's headset will completely cover your eyes and the real world images will be captured using the company's Real Sense motion tracking system.
This will use cameras and sensors to map the world around the user and track player's hands without the need for gloves or handheld controllers. The system can also see real world objects and integrate them into the virtual world.
Project Alloy will be capable of running Windows Holographic, Microsoft's Windows 10-based mixed reality platform that was announced last year.
In June, Microsoft had announced plans to build a single platform suitable for virtual reality, augmented reality and any other system that mixes computer-generated and real world content.
If you wish to know more about the Windows Holographic platform, watch this video below.
Microsoft's Terry Myerson said in a blog post that Windows Holographic, including the shell used on HoloLens, will be made available as an update to the regular Windows 10 desktop operating system next year.
Currently, Microsoft's HoloLens runs a unique version of Windows 10. The update next year will open it up not just to Microsoft's standalone device, but also to competing hardware such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
Terry Myerson also says that Intel and Microsoft are collaborating on a specification for mixed reality ready PCs and head mounted displays. The two companies are already working with several partners and plan to publicly release the first version of the specification at the WinHEC conference in Shenzhen in December.
Watch science fiction come to life in the video below using the Windows Holographic Shell running on Intel's NUC.
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