Windows Mixed Reality Flashlight lets you peer into the real world at will

WMR Flashlight
WMR Flashlight (Image credit: Microsoft)

The latest Windows Insider build now available on the Fast and Skip Ahead rings contains a nifty new feature for Windows Mixed Reality that will help mix a bit of the real world with your virtual one. Called Mixed Reality Flashlight, the feature lets you quickly peer into the real world so you can see what's going on around you without having to take your headset off.

Mixed Reality Flashlight can be accessed at any time with the Start menu, a button shortcut, or a voice command. Once activated, you'll see a portal into the real world that uses the camera feed on your headset to let you peek into the real world around you. The portal is tied to your controller, allowing you to shift it around with a wave of your hand.

This could come in handy for a number of different scenarios, whether you want to say hi to someone who just walked in the room, or if you're simply looking to grab a nearby drink or look at your phone.

If you own a Windows Mixed Reality headset and want to give the flashlight feature a shot, you can check it out now with Insider builds 17723 and 18204 on the Fast and Skip Ahead rings, respectively.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • This is a must have feature!
  • great idea good update
  • Very cool, does it use two cameras on the headset to show the world in 3D?
  • No it just uses one. The pics will not be a clear as that sample either.
  • So maybe these mixed reality headsets will finally, actually do mixed reality.
  • Ha, just in grayscale of course. Good update indeed.
  • So maybe you will finally, actually read up on the definition of Mixed Reality and see that Microsoft has been using it correctly all along.
  • Lol
  • Not quite I'm afraid. Spatial mapping (AR's tech) is necessary. You cannot map a 3D placeholder (table, chair or avatar) onto our real world without the tech.
  • This would be helpful when I live stream so that I can get the ability to see my disktop area for a second to hit buttons on my stream deck.
  • This might also make it possible to use a keyboard in Mixed Reality as you could look down from time to time to reorient yourself. That said, I'm still holding out hope that they can create a mixed reality keyboard, that like their controllers, take on a life of their own in the virtual world.
  • Tried it, and though the image is grayscale and fuzzy, it does what is was designed to do: reorient the user. Great additional use of the cameras.
  • How the heck do I PERMANENTLY DISABLE THIS? I was in the middle of a battle in Elite Dangerous and I told Voice Attack "Flight Assist OFF" and suddenly this IDIOTIC port into my immediate surrounds came up and blocked my entire view. I had to immediately exit the game because I couldn't get this thing to turn off. What a stupid feature.