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.