VR and AR step aside…here comes MR thanks to Microsoft

ridble-windows-holographic
One day, we will all look this cool.Image from Hifipublic

That’s right. Microsoft are looking to mash the worlds of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) in favour of Mixed Reality (MR?).

In short, they are looking to launch a new version of Windows called Windows Holographic, which will allow multiple systems to play together in the same VR space. It’s creating a system that could theoretically allow Hololens, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and other devices could interact and play together. Theoretically of course – Oculus is a key name missing from that blog release linked up top. But, it’s early days for Windows Holographic and MR.

In reality, we could define MR as AR, but hey, who am I to argue with a Microsoft buzzword. In reality (bad pun), Mixed Reality is a term that has been gaining some momentum as the confusion grows about the lines between VR and AR devices. Noone really knew where that line was, and Mixed Reality sounds like a much more cohesive concept that the virtualisation of reality…which in practice was more a crutch to let us play inside a virtual world.

It leads me back to this post I made earlier this year – it needs to be a lot more cohesive in the way that it works, rather than gimmicky.

Microsoft’s move is fantastic, and comes at the right time – there’s an increasing plethora of devices and executions being announced and released, including the very interesting eBay and Myer shopping app announced (props to the team who put it together. Awesome work, Dave & team), and VR and AR are becoming such immediate buzzwords. Just at an individual level, it gives peace of mind for consumers who don’t know if they should commit to an Oculus, Vive, Gear VR, Cardboard, or wait for Daydream…which will be interesting, considering that Google are touting Daydream as a mobile VR platform. Hmmm…all this and Apple’s WWDC less than 2 weeks away.

Isn’t that a sign of how quickly the industry is moving? It’s the classic Moore’s Law (and every other tipping point style curve, really?) – we’ve barely gotten past the point of actually having these devices in market, when the industry is already moving to securing and building platform ecosystems to work it.

Hopefully the consumer wins.

Not sure about the characters in the video on the Windows Holographic blog. Super awesome designer peeps? I dunno, Microsoft.

 

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