Microsoft will ship first Windows Mixed Reality kit to devs this month

Janie Parker
March 5, 2017

The price of the Microsoft VR headsets will start at $299 and will be coming from many companies, such as Acer and ASUS as well as Lenovo and HP and Dell and some others. Microsoft will start sending out the dev kits "soon" to content creators. The kits include Acer's HMD as well as "documentation and access to Windows 10 Insider preview builds and the software development kit (SDK) to enable developers to build mixed reality applications".

YouTube video (screenshot)How does Microsoft define mixed reality? And that's the way it should be, according to Kipman.

For one thing, they don't have see through visors, instead they are opaque like normal VR headsets. "The proper term is mixed reality".

Also part of the mixed reality experience journey, Microsoft says the dev kit will also be available for other devices as time goes on.

Microsoft has announced that it hopes to introduce Mixed Reality headsets to its Xbox console gaming platform by 2018. They cost about $300 (roughly £250 or AU$400 converted). Alternatively, phone-based headsets like the Samsung Gear VR are more portable, but often lack horsepower, positional tracking, and an easy method of control. Personally, I find this style much more comfortable to wear than the ski mask style you get from the likes of the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. In contrast, augmented reality (AR) takes virtual items and places them in the real-world environment. It would help Microsoft compete against Sony which has Playstation VR. Since Windows across desktops and the Xbox are "one operating system", these developers will have a lot of potential.

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Microsoft provided some additional details on one of those headsets this week.

Nearly every day we talk about new features and features that slowly are becoming public and that refer directly to the update Creators Update for Windows 10 that will reach our PC next month.

"We are excited to begin releasing PC builds to Windows Insiders using differential download packages", Microsoft's Bill Karagounis writes in a new post to the Windows Experience blog.

With the HoloLens, the headset would map out your room in real time, so you could "pin" windows and objects to surfaces in the real world - and have them stay in place. It is a plug-and-play setup that eliminates the need for external trackers or sensors in the wall. "HoloLens is focused on task workers and enterprise". But the apps aren't here yet. It has two high-resolution displays at 1440 x 1440, a display refresh rate of up to 90 hertz, a 3.5mm jack for built-in audio support plus HDMI 2.0 and USB 3.0 for connecting to the computer.

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