Microsoft Is Planning In A Big Way for 2017 On VR and AR

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Microsoft has revealed some big plans related to VR and AR in 2017. The company confirmed the minimum PC specs for Windows 10 VR, partnership with China VR headset maker, and Project Evo  with Intel. It seems that the resolution will bring a lot of progress for VR, AR and MR (mixed reality) by the HoloLens maker. Will these technologies become mainstream soon?

Today at WinHEC conference in Shenzen, Microsoft released the minimum PC specifications to run Windows 10 VR experience. With the recommended specifications bellow, many mid-range PCs seemed will be able to run the platform. But for games and applications, you still have to pay attention to the minimum specifications from its developers.

  • CPU: Intel Mobile Core i5 (e.g. 7200U) Dual-Core with Hyperthreading equivalent
  • GPU: Integrated Intel® HD Graphics 620 (GT2) equivalent or greater DX12 API Capable GPU
  • RAM: 8GB+ Dual Channel required for integrated Graphics
  • HDMI: HDMI 1.4 with 2880×1440 @ 60 Hz or HDMI 2.0 or DP 1.3+ with 2880×1440 @ 90 Hz
  • HDD:100GB+ SSD (Preferred) / HDD
  • USB: USB 3.0 Type-A or USB 3.1 Type-C Port with DisplayPort Alternate Mode
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0 for accessories

The specifications is related to the partnership that called by Microsoft and Intel as Project Evo. The collaboration is intended to bring Windows 10 PCs with smoother mix reality experience, support 4K gaming and far-field microphones, and equipped with security features like Windows Hello. Intel also plans to develop integrated HD graphic chipsets that can support the technology. Thus, some middle-range of VR Ready PCs or laptops will available in 2017.

As reported a few months ago, Window 10 VR will be a platform to run $300 VR headsets that will be created by popular PC manufacturers. Alex Kipman, creator of HoloLens said the middle class VR headset will support 6 DoF, like room scale on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Microsoft plans to open testing Windows 10 VR headset for developers in February. Developer Kits for Windows Holographics headset will be available at the Game Developers Conference and will be brought by Dell, Acer, HP, Lenovo and Asus.

For more immersive VR experience, Microsoft announced collaboration with 3Glasses. The China headset maker has developed S1 with two independent 2K display panels and a higher refresh rate, 120 Hz. With the specifications, the S1 will present sharper and smoother VR  experience. The VR headset is looks similar to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive will support Windows Holographic in the first half of 2017.
The last is about their AR headset, Microsoft is asking for approval of the Chinese government. HoloLens has scheduled to arrive in the first half of next year for developers and consumers in China. If Microsoft’s resolutions can be realized perfectly, it seems the way towards mainstream VR is getting closer.


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