In what you could call a sudden and shocking news, Intel has step foot in the VR market with its first all-in-one headset announced during the opening keynote at the 2016 Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. And what’s even more interesting is the fact that the headset is completely wireless, which means you no longer need to connect it to a PC or smartphone. Ain’t it just wonderful!?
Codenamed Project Alloy, Intel is introducing a ‘mixed reality’ headset that combines the power of both augmented and virtual reality to map your position and surroundings. This is the first device with all of the tech, cameras, sensors, processors and battery required to provide a virtual experience packed inside the headset.
Setting itself apart from Samsung, HTC or Oculus’s clunky wired headsets, Intel’s untethered headset allows you a free range of motion with 6 degrees-of-freedom. In general terms, it means that your movement isn’t restricted at all and you’re allowed to freely maneuver across a large space. And to make sure you don’t run into a wall, the headset prevent accidents with its collision detection and avoidance system(which is also in-built).
The VR headset allows you track rooms on its own, while also tracking your hands for interacting with virtual objects in real space. Though the live demo was a bit awkward and panicky, Intel has optimized its much-talked RealSense technology to work seamlessly with VR applications. Unlike Microsoft’s HoloLens prototypes, RealSense technology is not dependent on setting up any external sensors or cameras. It ensures that all the hardware is built right into the headset.
— Intel (@intel) August 16, 2016
The trackers on the headset make use of a 1080p camera, coupled with multiple infrared sensors to capture the real world and map the same. This also allows the head gear to capture, track and interact with people that walk into the frame of the user in real-time.
The Alloy HMD is an example of how Intel’s suite of sensing and computing technologies, such as Intel RealSense technology, are being made available to developers, makers and inventors to deliver the future of immersive experiences.
A clear example of the future of merged reality today, the Alloy platform completely redefines what is possible in an all-in-one VR platform.
says Intel CEO Brian Krzanich.
Though we haven’t seen any other tech giant introduce an untethered wireless headset, Intel has entered the space what can exclusively be termed as a — BANG. But, in moving away from the wires and external sensors, the company would have had to compromise on the performance and output resolution. Though the specs of the headset haven’t been discussed, but Intel might not be able to match 4K output standards promised by some VR headsets.
In addition to this, Intel has also announced its partnership with Microsoft that will allow it to bring its Holographic Windows operating system to Alloy. They will also be working together on optimizing content and improving mixed-reality experience for its users.
Intel also plans to open the Alloy hardware and provide open APIs for developers and partners to contribute to the project in 2017. They can also expedite the same to create their own branded projects using Alloy.