Windows Mixed Reality

One of the headline features of the Fall Creators Update is Windows Mixed Reality, which is the umbrella term Microsoft uses to describe any of their Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) features. Windows has a strong case for VR/AR, since the best experiences are going to require the brute compute power of a PC, and Microsoft was one of the pioneers of AR with HoloLens, but it has to be said, this market is completely in flux right now. VR hasn’t taken off as quickly as many would have hoped, although AR has made some inroads in the smartphone market.

As Microsoft often does, they’ve turned Mixed Reality into a platform, and that has had some immediate benefits. There’s now several VR headsets available from the major PC OEMs, hitting a couple of price points. Most of the headsets have resolutions of 2880x1440, with 90 Hz LCD panels, with the exception of the Samsung HMD Odyssey which is a 2880x1600 AMOLED headset. The headsets all include motion controllers as well.

With the power of a PC behind it, a Windows Mixed Reality headset should be able to offer some great experiences, but the biggest issue is the lack of use cases. Gaming is the obvious one, but VR gaming hasn’t really taken off yet despite the launch of the HTC and Oculus VR headsets.

AR does have some interesting use cases, and unlike VR doesn’t necessarily require a headset. Using the webcam on a device will allow the system to project images on the screen which appear to be in the real world, and this ties into the work done in Windows to support 3D animations and creations over the last couple of updates.

Overall, Windows Mixed Reality still needs to prove itself. The tech is still new, and we’ve yet to see any amazing experiences which necessitate the purchase and use of a head-mounted display. VR is amazing to use, but limited in usefulness, and AR is somewhat in its infancy. The idea of standardizing all of this is a good one, and having a consistent platform should help drive adoption, but the tech is simply too immature in the market to predict if this will be the next big thing in Windows, or just another small feature.

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  • cmdrdredd - Friday, November 10, 2017 - link

    Hopefully they fix HDR too. Windows implementation of HDR-10 is broken. Reply
  • ZeDestructor - Friday, November 10, 2017 - link

    "Find My Pen".. or you could just have a hole in your tablet/laptop to stuff the stylus into.. I mean, my now 6 year old laptop has that feature, but my dad s brand spanking new Yoga 720 does not. Why, vendors and MS... WHY!? Reply
  • mr_tawan - Saturday, November 11, 2017 - link

    Some devices don't come with bundled pen (including the Surface Pro), and need separated purchases. Some people don't find pen useful and they don't buy one.

    Also pens nowaday are much larger than say ... Windows Mobile stylii. They just can't drill a hole in the device and let you stick the pen in it. It won't fit.
    Reply
  • Harry_Wild - Friday, November 10, 2017 - link

    I very happy about the improvements to Windows OS! These IT people are just lazy b*stards! They get pay plenty for keeping their company computer systems running and to do improvements to it! Reply
  • Thounee - Saturday, November 11, 2017 - link

    Harmon... Harmon... really? Please.. it's HARMAN!!! Reply
  • imaheadcase - Saturday, November 11, 2017 - link

    The game updates are simply terrible idea. First off the gamebar is known to cause problems with games. For instance lots of users got locked 30fps in a MMO i play untill they found out gamebar detected it as a console game and locked it for them. Reply
  • PeachNCream - Saturday, November 11, 2017 - link

    There should be a setting for people in DirectX where you can lock everything to 30FPS if you want so your laptop's cooling system doesn't have to work as hard. I think that'd be the best way to enable a framerate cap and offer a benefit to the person at the keyboard, but it should be up to the end user to make that decision. Reply
  • Outlander_04 - Saturday, November 11, 2017 - link

    Bottom line for me is I do not want "features" added by default.
    Security updates fine.
    Crap software I will never use: no
    Reply
  • boozed - Saturday, November 11, 2017 - link

    What's a Fall Creator? Reply
  • mkozakewich - Sunday, November 12, 2017 - link

    They're the ones who paint all the leaves red. Reply

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