Microsoft, Acer

How soon you ask? Well, as soon as this very month. Microsoft previously named Acer as one of its partners who will be working alongside the Redmond giant to get the Mixed reality headsets to start shipping to developers. And it seems like Acer will start shipping soon. And of course, the set will be an Xbox One VR one.

In case you are unaware of this mixed reality, well, it is pretty much what the name implies. Virtual and physical worlds are mixed. And it can be much, much more useful than you imagine.

Announcing the news, Microsoft said:

To empower even more developers to create in mixed reality, we gave a “golden ticket” to game developers who attended our Windows Mixed Reality session at GDC, and those developers will receive the Acer developer edition headset in the coming months.

Acer’s device will consist of the following components and specifications:

  • Two high-resolution liquid crystal displays at 1440 x 1440
  • Display refresh rate up to 90 Hz (native)
  • Built-in audio out and microphone support through 3.5mm jack
  • Single cable with HDMI 2.0 (display) and USB 3.0 (data) for connectivity

Mixed reality is powerful because of several reasons. One of them being that you don’t need a whole bunch of trackers to tell you when you are going to bump into something like you do with virtual. In mixed reality, you can create virtual boundaries to the real one. So, as long ad you keep from bumping into objects and stay within the boundaries you see in the real world, you should be okay.

For now, Microsoft wants mixed reality to work with Windows 10. Eventually though, the company has grander plans. Like bringing it to  the Xbox One family, including the forthcoming Scorpio Xbox. So it seems like we have another incentive to purchase the Scorpio.

Meanwhile, the company has a slew of other partners as well, including ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and 3Glasses. All of these partners will eventually start rolling out devices that can pair with your Windows Mixed Reality-ready PC.

These are the first mixed reality headsets to deliver built-in inside-out tracking, meaning there is no need to purchase or install external trackers or sensors in the wall.

And as Microsoft says, you don’t even need to bother with a complicated setup since no external sensors are required. You can simply plug and play.

Meanwhile, it seems to me that we had been considering Microsoft as something of an underdog what with Google, Facebook and Oculus and HTC flashing their headsets around. It appears to be that there is quite a bit of business to be had in Mixed reality as well and I can think of a whole bunch of interesting scenarios where they could find an application.

Microsoft’s device can find a wide assortment of uses in entertainment as well as productivity as opposed to VR headsets, which seem to lay somewhat more focus upon gaming and movies. Think about it for a minute. You wake up, put on your headset and a virtual office materializes around you. You work and when its time to go, simply pull off the headset. Sounds cool right?

Meanwhile, if you are a developer who is interested, you can learn more about the Windows Mixed Reality program here.

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