At its New York event, Microsoft discussed how it is finally getting behind the virtual reality market in a big way. While augmented reality and the HoloLens are the focus of the company, Windows 10 is now very VR friendly. Also, the company’s partners have created innovative new VR headsets for the platform.
Created by major PC partners like Lenovo, Acer, and HP, the headsets cost $299.99. Microsoft says this is a fraction of the cost of similarly spec’d devices.
In fact, rival devices like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift cost $799 and more. The reason for the good price for the Microsoft-linked headsets is that the company believes VR should be accessible. Windows 10 Creators Update is designed to make the most of VR and augmented reality. Indeed, it is undoubtedly the most complete VR-compatible OS yet.
Windows 10 VR Development
Developers are being urged to create their VR solutions using Windows 10. With the platform, dev’s will be able to leverage their creations with Microsoft’s Windows Holographic SKU.
The hardware solution accompanies Microsoft’s plans. At this early stage, there are no in-depth details on specs. However, Microsoft is talking these up as Oculus Rift competitors, so they should be powerful VR-oriented hardware.
At the Windows 10 event, Microsoft also offered one of its most detailed looks at HoloLens to date. Along with the VR demo, the company showed how HoloLens now interacts with Windows 10 after the Creators Update.
“With Windows 10 you can move your content from the real world to the digital world seamlessly,” general manager Megan Saunders said in New York.
HoloLens now integrates with the newly launched Microsoft Paint 3D suite. This allows 3D drawings to be sent to the headset. These 3D objects can be ported into the augmented mixed reality, allowing users to interact with them.
For example, Microsoft scanned a chair using Paint 3D and then made it come alive in the real-world through HoloLens. The company used this demo as an interior design-focused feature. However, it is not hard to imagine how this kind of functionality could be used in myriad scenarios.
The company also introduced HoloTour, which mixes VR and AR element. With this service, users can “visit” and tour cities and landmarks around the world. This becomes an immersive VR experience, which will also work on HoloLens.
“Holotour is a special experience that allows you to explore and interact with new places. It was made for Microsoft HoloLens, but here it is in virtual reality running on Windows 10,” Saunders said.