Windows Mixed Reality Kits Available for Pre-Order Now!

If you’ve been following the news around Microsoft and Mixed Reality, then you’ve likely seen news about a set of upcoming Mixed Reality headsets from multiple third party manufacturers. The Virtual Reality space is really heating up, and Microsoft’s play is this new Mixed Reality platform being built into Windows 10. So, rather than spending thousands of dollars for a completely stand-alone system, ala HoloLens, you can buy a simpler solution that connects to a Windows 10 PC for the brains, ala Windows Mixed Reality.

 

Pre-Order Availability

The new Windows Mixed Reality headsets have been rumored to ship before the next Holiday Season (by Dec 2017?). However, you can pre-order the Developer Kits today with an expected ship date of August 2017! Pre-orders are currently only available in the USA and Canada, and only the Developer Kits are available for pre-order today.

There are 2 Mixed Reality Headsets being made available currently; from Acer and HP.

Acer Windows Mixed Reality Headset Developer Edition

Pre-Order in the USA

Pre-Order in Canada

Here’s the basic hardware specs for the Acer Windows Mixed Reality Headset Developer Edition:

  • 2x high resolution LCD screens at 1440 x 1440 resolution
  • Front hinged display
  • 90 degree horizontal field of view
  • Display refresh rate up to 90Hz (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
  • Inside-out tracking
  • 4.0 meter cable

HP Windows Mixed Reality Headset Developer Edition

Pre-Order in the USA

Pre-Order in Canada

Here’s the basic hardware specs for the HP Windows Mixed Reality Headset Developer Edition:

  • 2x high resolution LCD displays at 1440 x 1440 resolution
  • Front hinged display
  • 95 degrees horizontal field of view
  • Display refresh rate up to 90Hz (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
  • Inside-out tracking
  • 4.0m/0.6m removable cable
  • double-padded headband and easy adjustment knob for all day comfort

Windows Mixed Reality System Recommendations for Developers

Here’s the recommended hardware requirements for Developers building Apps for Windows Mixed Reality:

  • CPU – Intel Desktop Core i7 (6+ core) OR AMD Ryzen 7 1700 (8 core, 16 thread)
  • GPU – Desktop Nvidia GTX 980/1060, AMD Radeon RX 480 (8GB) equivalent or greater DX12 and WDDM 2.2 capable GPU
  • Display – Headset Connectors – 1x available graphics display port for headset (HDMI 1.4 or DisplayPort 1.2 for 60 Hz headsets, HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.2 for 90 Hz headsets)
  • Memory – 16 GB RAM or greaters
  • Storage – greater than 10GB additional free space
  • Connectivity – 1x USB for headset (USB 3.0 Type-A), Bluetooth 4.0 for accessory connectivity

You can view a little further information at the official Windows Mixed Reality Dev Kit Pre-Order announcement post from Microsoft.

Happy Birthday HoloLens!! 1 Year Old!

Today is the birthday of Microsoft HoloLens in terms of being available and in peoples hands. At the Microsoft Build 2016 conference it was announced that the first wave of HoloLens Development Edition hardware had begun shipping out to developers! It’s amazing it’s been 1 year already, and there’s only more exciting HoloLens and Mixed Reality innovation to come! Continue reading

Windows 10 and the Holographic World

2016MixedReality002For some time it’s been unclear whether Microsoft will “pull an Apple” with the HoloLens and be the only manufacturer or if they’ll continue with tradition and organize with their partners. On June 1, 2016, Microsoft’s Terry Myers announced they are opening up the Windows Holographic Platform to partners in an effort to usher in a new era of Mixed Reality Computing.

Windows 10 will be the ONLY Mixed Reality Computing Platform bringing together an ecosystem of both Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies. With Windows 10 these different devices will be able to communicate together to create this new era of Mixed Reality Computing. This will be an ear akin to the first personal computers; to the first laptops; to the shift towards smartphones and mobile.

The era of Mixed Reality is coming, and it is going to change our world!

The virtual reality market is expected to expand to around 80 million devices by 2020. This is tremendous growth! Especially if you compare VR to the Xbox 360 which has sold a total of 84 million units in more than twice the amount of time. Overall the growth of Mixed Reality Devices is expected to be huge, fast, and expected to reach a similar market penetration as smartphones have today. The prediction is that everyone will have some kind of Mixed Reality Device they use every single day. The era of Mixed Reality is coming, and it is going to change our world!

Here’s a short video from Microsoft that gives us a glimpse into Microsoft’s vision of life with Mixed Reality Computing:

With this announcement, Microsoft is saying that Windows Holographic is coming to devices of all sizes, shapes, and form factors from fully immersive VR (tethered) headsets as well as completely untethered Augmented Reality (AR) Holographic devices such as the Microsoft HoloLens.

Microsoft will be working with Partners such as Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, HTC, Acer, ASUS, CyberPowerPC, Dell, Falcon Northwest, HP, iBuyPower, Lenovo, MSI, and many others to create and support great VR experiences on the Windows 10 Holographic Platform.

In March 2016 Microsoft started shipping the first Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition hardware. They have shown it’s usage with some pretty cool demos from NASA and kitchen design, all the way to gaming with a holographic version of Minecraft. What we’ve seen is only the tip of the iceberg.

There is plenty more amazing ways that the Mixed Reality Computing Platform and Windows Holographic can transform the way we interact with computers throughout our daily lives. Now that the ecosystem is open to partners through Microsoft’s invitation, we will certainly see some truly amazing advances and use cases coming within the next couple of years.

We all would love to hear more news on this, and Microsoft is planning to give us more details at WinHEC later this fall.

Additionally, if you have one of the Microsoft HoloLens Development Editions, what are you building with it today? Please lave a comment on this post, I would love to hear what people are doing with Windows Holographic today!

HoloLens in Danger: Intel Cancels Atom CPU

The Microsoft HoloLens brings a truly innovative, augmented reality, wearable device. The currently released HoloLens hardware is the Developer Edition running on an Intel Atom CPU. Microsoft has yet to announce when a more broadly available consumer version of the HoloLens will be available. However, the recent announcement that Intel is┬ácancelling the Atom CPU line raises some serious questions around the future of Microsoft HoloLens. Is the future of Microsoft HoloLens in danger? Will future HoloLens devices use ARM CPU’s? Continue reading

Detailed HoloLens Hardware Specs

The innovations of Microsoft Holographics brought to life by the Microsoft HoloLens are quite remarkable. While the HoloLens Development Edition is still v1 hardware, it’s really amazing how well it works. One thing Microsoft hasn’t really published is what the hardware specifications (CPU, RAM, Storage, etc) are inside powering the HoloLens device. Using the HoloLens Settings app along with the AIDA64 app available in the Windows Store many of the hardware specification details can be discovered. A compilation of the HoloLens hardware specs are below. Continue reading

Connect Bluetooth Keyboard to Microsoft HoloLens for Easier Text Entry

The Microsoft HoloLens and Windows 10 support a holographic “on-screen” keyboard for text entry. There is also a voice to text option for text entry through this holographic keyboard as well. However, there are times when text input is just quicker and easier with the use of a keyboard. Fortunately, the Microsoft HoloLens fully supports Bluetooth, so you can easily connect a Wireless, Bluetooth Keyboard to the Microsoft HoloLens and use it for text entry. This is something that could be extremely useful for doing work on the HoloLens, but also helps make YouTube, Email and Web Browser easier to do. Continue reading

Using Headphones with Microsoft HoloLens

The Microsoft HoloLens Developer Edition has built-in speakers to provide a 3D sound experience. These speakers are designed to project the sound to your ears so a 3D app or game can give you a fully immersive sounding experience. However, if you’re hearing impaired or just want the audio from the HoloLens to be private then these built-in speakers may not be ideal. Is there another option for HoloLens audio, such as connecting headphones or earbuds? Continue reading