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Windows Mixed Reality

January 3, 2019


Windows Mixed Reality

An all-encompassing VR/AR platform for everyone

Windows Mixed Reality is a game-changer in the VR/AR industry, in that it’s not a particular VR gear but a platform for VR. Microsoft’s value proposition for Windows MR is to bring the virtual/augmented reality experience to the masses, wherein users have a variety of headsets to choose from. As of this writing, Windows MR supports the Samsung HMD Odyssey, Acer Headset, Dell Visor, HP Headset, and Lenovo Explorer.

What makes this an alluring choice for users is that it’s designed to be an all-encompassing VR/AR platform with lower hardware requirements, and can be utilized for a variety of purposes other than gaming and social VR—in fact, one of its key features is its smart virtual home capability, which allows you to freely customize apps, movies, games, and holograms to any virtual space, with the help of Microsoft’s digital assistant, Cortana.

Another key takeaway is that Windows Mixed Reality is free for Windows 10 users. There are also a number of Windows MR-ready PCs in the market valued at a more affordable price relative to other PC specs that work best with professional-grade VR gears like HTC VIVE and Oculus.

Things to love about Windows Mixed Reality

One of the best things about Windows Mixed Reality is the liberty and affordability it offers to users. Their choice of Windows MR-supported VR headsets can work well with any mid-range Windows 10 gaming laptops, and their hardware requirements don’t demand that much, depending on the tier you’ve chosen: Windows Mixed Reality for basic VR and Windows Mixed Reality Ultra for gaming.

In terms of gaming, its integration with Steam VR makes for a more robust game library, far better than that of PlayStation’s. The use of LCR rather than OLED panels in generally all of Windows MR’s supported headgears also offer a boost in VR performance, but does poorly in displaying more vibrant colors.

Areas Windows Mixed Reality can improve on

As with anything offered cheaper, Windows Mixed Reality has a number of tradeoffs, with performance being the main issue. Compared to other VR gears in its league, Windows Mixed Reality doesn’t offer the most stellar VR experience; graphics and motion tracking can get a bit clunky after a time.

Another striking disadvantage is that most of the Windows MR headsets do not come with built-in audio; you would need to attach your own headphones and microphones through an audio jack.

To conclude, Windows Mixed Reality is still at its early stages of development, and there are still a number of areas that they can improve on. However, its current offerings show a lot of promise, and its focus on smart-home productivity rather than entertainment and gaming is a huge differentiator over most of the current market’s offerings.

For more information, visit https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-mixed-reality.

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