These are the first Windows Holographic VR headsets from HP, Dell, and more!

Microsoft's partners are making a big play with VR headsets. When Microsoft announced that they were working to make Windows Holographic VR headsets a reality, there were a lot of questions. Now a lot of those questions are getting answered, thanks to the previews of in-the-works headsets from several manufacturers.

They're all built off of the same concept: a pair of screens behind two lenses on the inside (pretty standard for VR headsets) and a pair of cameras on the outside to allow for what's called "inside-out" room scale VR. Unlike HTC's Vive headset, which depends on position tracking from a pair of laser lighthouses that must be mounted in the room, these Windows Holographic headsets all sport two cameras mounted on the headset's front (each uses slightly different positioning, so it's not strictly off a reference design) to examine the space around the headset and track your position that way. It may require more processing on the part of the computer, but it also means the headsets can be smaller and lighter and less complicated.

None of the headsets were plugged in and ready to go — Windows Holographic is still a work in progress — and most were unfortunately encased in glass boxes away from our heads (with the exception of the Lenovo which we got to go face-on with earlier). Nor did we have any details on pricing or availability. But across the line what we saw was a wide range of design choices, from cheap and techy by 3Glasses downright utopian futuristic from Dell.

There's still a lot up in the air about Windows Holographic, but what we're seeing looks promising for the future of VR.






Derek Kessler

Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.

  • I'm glad I went with a Vive, but these devices aren't really meant to compete with the Vive yet at least. Inside-out tracking is awesome if it works as well as the HoloLens tracking does. For VR, I'm less convinced that it is a necessity. It will be nice for portability, but the Lighthouse tracking allows users to have an unlimited amount of tracked headsets, controllers, and whatever else within the space. Lighthouse peripherals will only need the sensors to pick up the IR lasers from the base stations. Any tracked devices for these inside-out tracking headsets will need their own set of cameras or will have outside-in tracking exclusively for the extra device. Microsoft better come out with some universal and accurately-tracked motion controllers for all of the Windows Holographic headsets if they want customers to have a good experience with any headset.
  • Agreed. Vives tracking ist the most robust and scalable method.
  • Wives' tracking methods appear to be more accurate though. Unfortunately.
  • Would be great if someone actually could come up with an accurate wife tracking method.
  • Have you tried buying her a necklace with a bell?
  • Tried it. Lost my wife soon after... Forever...
  • There are going to be universal motion controllers.
  • These headsets already have their very own tracking cameras.
  • I like the scalability of the oculus alot plus the handcontrollers are so much better. awesome piece of equipment 👍
  • Wow... so many dislikes. This can be a terrible community at times. Many people on this site will dislike any comments that say anything even remotely negative about Microsoft even if the comments are stating facts. I truly hope that the Windows Holographic devices are successful.
  • Trollover from the reddit crowd. You have to filter every response to make sure you don't get negative karma. Don't even try speaking against communism or supporting capitalism.
  • That HP vr headset reminds me Robocop's visor. And I think dell got their inspiration from Wall-E
  • Lenovo's reminds me of X-Men's Cyclops. With the Dell one on, you'll either look like Daft Punk, or Bender. Not sure...
  • heh... if they sell a grey version that I can glue Bender eyes on... sold!
  • If the latency, resolutions are FOV are up to par.... adding MS spatial mapping & inside out tracking based on hololens IP + intel real sense cameras to the mix at lower price points will likely allow these OEMs to jump right to front of the pack vs HTC/Valve and Facebook.
  • Hopefully Microsoft leverages their huge Minecraft IP. An AR version of Minecraft for these devices & hololens like the demo showed at E3 which allows play with other AR players with their virtual avatars moving around a recreated mixed reality version of your room.... that could be the killer AR app
  • Did you think it was a joke?
  • Just can not wait. Windows Holographics for the consumers!
  • Same dude.  I can't wait to get one of these.
  • So now all we need is an update to the Xbox one and maybe we can use one of these... Maybe???
  • They've said that Scorpio will work with VR headsets
  • I will be buying whichever seems the best when Scorpio debuts (at hopefully a bundled discount).
  • These visors all remind me of punk glasses from 80's anime. Still neat to see so many companies building devices for Windows Holographic though.
  • Dell and Lenovo looks great.
  • Dell's looks the best, HP and Lenovo look very similar.
  • Just need one to look like a cylon now
  • So say we all, toaster.
  • Love these. Can't wait for it. I guess they will be out before mid-2017? Since support should hopefully be in the Creators Update.
  • Any idea on pricing or whether they will work on older pcs upgraded to windows 10?
  • As the article said, nothing on the pricing.  As for being able to work on older PCs, I would think that would depend more on how powerful your older machine is. There's probably a good chance they'll work if your older PC was top of the line at the time you bought it (2 or 3 yrs ago). 
  • There was an article that mentioned the minimum specs somewhere.
  • Looking forward to the future where we all look odd.
  • Are Microsoft part of "Open Source VR Consortium" ? Just hope we get some standards soon
  • You're kidding, right?  None of those goggles looks cool. They all pretty much look the same, big, bulky, ugly. They need to shrink down considerably.
  • Seriously? None of those goggles are cool.  They're all pretty much the same thing. Big, bulky and ugly. 
  • Have you tried any of them to feel how comfortable they are?  And who cares about them being ugly? You won't be able to see the outside of the headset when you're immersed in VR. 
  • Maybe you'd like to suggest what can be removed to shrink them down.
    The screen, the lenses, maybe the padding?
    There's not a lot else to them
  • I're not going outside in it. It doesn't have to look fashionable.
  • True, but I would go outside in Dells version! That is boldly futuristic ;).
  • if that was the case why did underwear get fasionable and better looking over time?
  • completly agree
  • Big and bulky sure. I think the dell one looks good though. Hp one is not bad either. So that part subjective.
  • I'm not sure of Pricing but expect somewhere between $250 and $500
  • at the announcement a few months back they were stated to start at $299
  • I wonder why some have headphones while others don't. Will we need to plug in our own? And to those saying these don't look cool.....welcome to VR. The Oculus and Vive look no cooler. If you want cooler, pay up.
  • Could just be defined by the OEM. The Rift has built in earbuds so the whole package is a little slimmer, the Vive has an audio jack so the user can decide what headphones to use. Same end result, just different philosophies. 
  • Glad Windows holographic is catching up!
  • I'll wait and see what the pricing scale will be, since they are being mass produced by several vendors maybe that will drive the price down to an acceptable level for everyone to afford without having to sell a kidney to buy.
  • From $299
  • Remember the original Surface? Remember that thick and heavy device and that weird touch keyboard? Would you think it would evolve into the Surface line it is today? Same thing with these VR headsets. I've never tried on VR headsets, but even I can tell these are only their first products. Microsoft is still working on its holographic experience, and these OEMs never built VR headsets before. Give them time to improve, and they'll definitely come out with better products soon. Leading the world into holographic technology requires baby steps.