On January 6, 2017, Microsoft revealed that it has teamed up with several companies to bring HoloLens-style headsets to the stores. A few days later, on January 18, the company announced it would begin to ship the devices at the GDC.
On the GDC in San Francisco, Microsoft has now announced it will begin shipping the first dev kits to its developer partners this March. Game developers who attended the company’s Mixed Reality session at GDC will also receive the Acer Windows Mixed Reality Developer Edition headset in the coming months.
In an article on the Microsoft blog, HoloLens mastermind Alex Kipman has shared more details about the company´s vision for mixed reality and the upcoming headset.
The specs for the Acer Windows Mixed Reality Development Edition include:
- “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.”
Acer Windows Mixed Reality Dev Edition package
In today’s blog post, Microsoft says that its developer partners will not only receive the mixed reality headset but several tools as well. When the rollout begins, developers will also get documentation and access to Windows 10 Insider Builds.
The company’s developer partners will also get the software development kit (SDK), which will enable them to build mixed reality apps. Developers will be able to build apps using Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform (UWP), which currently delivers more than 20.000 UWP applications.
Windows Mixed Reality beyond desktop and HoloLens
Microsoft also says that Windows Mixed Reality (Windows WMR) will come on other devices over time. The company plans to bring mixed reality content to the Xbox One family of devices, including Project Scorpio, in 2018.
Renaming Microsoft Holographic
What has almost passed unnoticed is that Microsoft has quietly changed the name of Windows Holographic to Windows Mixed Reality. In the aforementioned blog post, we heard about Windows Mixed Reality for the first time. It may also be one of the last times we hear about Microsoft Holographic.
Microsoft has revealed to MSPoweruser that the name Windows Mixed Reality is more encompassing of the company’s broader vision for the platform.
To get a glimpse of what is possible with Windows Mixed Reality, check Microsoft’s video: