Today at IDF 2016, Intel announced Project Alloy, which offers an untethered Mixed Reality VR experience.
Using Intel’s Real Sense technology, the Project Alloy headset will allow you to wirelessly walk through your home. Unlike other platforms that allow you to move around, you won’t have a cable to trip over. Imagining your virtual world replicating the layout of your home. Through multi-room support, you are actually able to walk from one room to another in your virtual world and your real world at the same time.
Through the use of Real Sense technology embedded in the front of the headset, you are able to see real world objects as they enter into the field of view of the camera. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich walked in front of the headset and appeared briefly, and you were able to tell that it was him; the visualizations are actual approximations of real world objects, not grids or blobs.
Being able to see your hands in the virtual world, allows you to pick up objects and interact with them in real time. The example Intel showed during their keynote was holding a dollar bill and it was used to shape (manipulate) a rotating object.
The forward facing cameras allow you to avoid any obstacles. This changes the way that developers can create content. Current solutions like the Vive have you tripping over cords, and Oculus which is primarily bound to your chair. Alloy doesn’t make you create a dedicated VR space by mounting sensors, it allows to to image any space you have as a Virtual World.
Mixed and Augmented reality isn’t a new story, as Microsoft has been touting Augmented reality as their solution with the HoloLens for some time. Microsoft joined BK on stage to talk about their vision of bringing mixed reality to the masses. The HoloLens is built on Intel’s Cherry Trail platform, so an aligned vision of the future is only natural.
At Computex 2016, which took place in June, Microsoft announced that the Window Holographic would be available to their hardware partners. Today at IDF they said that they would be rolling out Windows Holographic to all Windows 10 PCs in the 2nd half of 2017.
If you’re wondering if your system is going to be able to handle adding on a Head Mounted display, the hardware specification will be announced at WinHack this December. To give you an idea of what kind of computing chops you’re going to need, today’s demo was run on a NUC featuring a Skylake processor with IRIS graphics.
To support this new environment, Intel has announced Real Sense 400 which has double the range of the previous generation and a 10 core Broadwell CPU, which will be able to render 3D environments 2-3X faster than the previous generation.
Alloy Open Platform will be available to partners 2H of 2017.