Cliff House, a split-level area with apps on the walls, greets you when you first load into Windows Mixed Reality (WMR). It's nice enough to look at — there are a few design choices already in place — and the environment around it can distract you, but there are a few things you can do to make it more like your own. Why bother? You'll be spending a decent amount of time here, and changing things up to suit your style will make it much more enjoyable.
Move and replace apps inside Cliff House
Adding, moving, and deleting apps not only frees up space on your walls for other decorations, it also means you'll have to move around less when changing gears, like from productivity to leisure. All apps can be tweaked, meaning you aren't stuck with what's on the walls by default. Hate seeing Edge in the other room? Move or delete it.
In this case, we've collected all apps that launch you into a full, separate 360-degree world in one room, and we made the launch icons small to save space. If you'd like, you could place them on shelves for some extra organization. These apps are all located in the entryway, making it easy to jump into WMR and then immediately into another app.
As for apps that work best on a large screen, we've collected them in the viewing room. It's darker down here and seems to make reading text and watching videos much easier. That couch and chairs that you'll originally find in the room don't have to stay. We've replaced them here with a couch in front of each screen, as well as some other decor.
When down here in the viewing room, don't forget to hit the moon button on the right wall to change from day to night. This will also remove the walls from the room and give you a beautiful view of mountains and a lake at night.
Use Holograms to customize your Cliff House decor
The Microsoft Holograms app is an integral part of WMR. It essentially lets you redecorate your Cliff House with all the items already found within, as well as a bunch of others.
There are two sections to choose from when it comes to holograms; Fun and Cliff House. The Fun section contains a bunch of goofy stuff, including a mime, that, when triggered will act something out. In the mime's case, he will act out singing in an opera, while the hot air balloons will take a slow trip upward. There are plenty of these items to choose from, and they go a long way to filling your space while we wait for social integration.
The Cliff House section, on the other hand, isn't quite as flashy, offering up furniture, lighting, and wall hangings. One of the first things we did was strip down the existing decor and rebuild on our own. It really makes the place feel more like your own, and helps you get a feel for the motion controllers.
The Holograms app also contains a text editor, letting you create signs or even phrases to place on walls. We haven't been too creative in this aspect, but have labeled a few things. This will again no doubt be more useful when social integration is here and we can direct others around our Cliff House.
Use all of the Cliff House
It took awhile to figure this one out, but the large steps to the left of where you enter WMR can be climbed in order to get onto the roof. It's austere up here initially, but we've added a few comforts that make it more like a place we'd want to hang out. If you don't mind doing some reading while in VR, this seems like a great place.
Space up here doesn't necessarily have to be used, but we might soon find that we're running out of space on the main floor for all our apps and decorations.
What's coming to Cliff House in the future?
What was a shutdown scare from AltspaceVR, one of the leading social platforms across most of the major VR systems, turned into an acquisition for Microsoft. AltspaceVR lets you create your own rooms, host others, and check out live events.
AltspaceVR isn't shutting down, but now that the team has joined Microsoft, it's looking like Windows Mixed Reality will one day have a social aspect to its Cliff House. You'll hypothetically be able to put on the headset, jump into your Cliff House, and answer the doorbell as your friends make their way over.
What would you like to see most from Cliff House? More decorations? The ability to easily create and upload your own 3D models of your favorite objects? What about being able to entirely remodel the building, including walls and floor plan? Let us know in the comments section!
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Cale Hunt is formerly a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full-time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.