Coming along in the Creators Update for Windows 10, Microsoft is putting a big emphasis on 3D creation. As part of those efforts, the company announced that the holographic computing platform leveraged by HoloLens will be dipping its toes into virtual reality with Windows Holographic VR.
So what does all of that mean for you? Here's what we know so far.
So what is this "Holographic VR" business anyway?
From what Microsoft has shown, Windows Holographic VR will enable an experience that lands somewhere in between virtual reality (like Oculus Rift) and augmented reality (like HoloLens).
Will Holographic VR run on a headset, then?
Yes! Just like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, you'll have to strap on a dedicated, enclosed headset to check out the Windows Holographic VR experience.
Okay, so what makes this different from other VR and AR headsets?
According to Microsoft, headsets made for the Windows Holographic VR experience will pack sensors for what is called inside-out tracking. That means that headsets used with the Windows Holographic VR experience won't rely on any external tracking systems, unlike the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
With inside-out tracking, you'll also be able to place virtual objects onto the world around you, much like you can with HoloLens as well. However, unlike HoloLens, the Holographic VR headsets look to be totally enclosed, projecting the experience onto a screen inside the headset.
Can I use the Holographic VR headset without a PC?
Right now, it looks like the headsets work in tandem with a Windows PC. At the moment, it's unclear if you'll be required to be tethered to the PC for this to work, or whether the experience is completely wireless. However, we should know much more soon.
Who is making headsets for Windows Holographic VR?
Microsoft has announced that a number of partners, including HP, ASUS, Lenovo, Acer and Dell will be making VR headsets for the Windows Holographic VR experience.
How much will they cost?
Headsets will start at $299. That's a pretty big deal considering the the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive cost $599 and $799, respectively.
Awesome! So when can I get my hands on one?
It's unclear when the headsets will be available, but the experience relies heavily on the upcoming Windows 10 Creators update. We should learn more as the update draws closer to release.