Microsoft dives deeper into 'mixed reality' with VR devices

SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft is counting on virtual reality headsets made by other companies to help establish personal computers running on its Windows 10 operating system as the best way to explore artificial worlds.

The devices unveiled Tuesday include a Samsung headset called the HMD Odyssey. The headset requires a connection to a PC running on a Windows 10 update being released Oct. 17. That's unlike Samsung's less expensive Gear VR headset, which is designed to run on smartphones powered by Google's Android operating system.

Samsung's HMD Odyssey will cost $500 and begin shipping early next month. The Gear VR sells for $40 to $130.

PC makers Dell, HP, Acer and Lenovo also will be making VR headsets designed to work with Windows 10 machines. The prices for those headsets start at about $400.

Microsoft also disclosed it's buying a startup called AltspaceVR to develop technology for holding business meetings in VR.

The PC-driven headsets that Microsoft is embracing illuminate the dividing lines among some of the world's most powerful technology companies as they all try to hook consumers and businesses on products and applications that blend the real world with digital versions of it.

Both Apple and Google are focused on bringing a slightly different format called "augmented reality" to smartphones running on their software. Augmented reality, or AR, projects digital images into real-life scenes usually viewed through a camera lens.

VR, on the other hand, completely immerses people into fake worlds, and usually requires wearing a headset that blocks out everything else.

Microsoft Corp. is trying to develop technology that straddles both VR and AR, prompting the company to label its approach as "mixed reality." It began its push into the area two years ago with an expensive headset called the HoloLens that so far has primarily been used inside companies.

Now, Microsoft is trying to broaden its mixed-reality strategy by working with PC makers to design and sell headsets that work with the upcoming Windows 10 update. The Redmond, Washington, company's emphasis on its PC operating system isn't surprising, given that its own attempts to expand into smartphones have flopped so far.

Facebook, another company without its own smartphone operating system, also is betting on VR that works on standalones headsets build by its Oculus subsidiary. The Oculus headset also requires a connection to a high-powered PC. Oculus is expected to reveal the latest updates to its VR products at a conference next week.

Google, meanwhile, is expected to unveil the next generation of its Daydream VR headsets for Android-powered phones at a showcase Wednesday.

Related News

China charges former rising political star with...

Feb 13, 2018

Chinese authorities have charged former rising political star Sun Zhengcai with bribery

'Auction' of NSA tools sends security companies...

Aug 18, 2016

The leak of what purports to be a National Security Agency tool kit as part of a surreal online...

F1 Renault driver Magnussen expects to compete at...

Aug 30, 2016

Formula One driver Kevin Magnussen expects to compete at this weekend's Italian Grand Prix after...

Zero-emission boat prepares for round-the-world...

Jan 11, 2017

The first self-sufficient boat powered only by emission-free energy will start a six-year trip...

APNewsBreak: Cyber spies target American-Egyptian...

Feb 14, 2017

The Associated Press has found that a prominent American-Egyptian author is one of many activists...

French president calls for more cybersecurity for...

Feb 15, 2017

French President Francois Hollande is calling for new security measures around the country's...

You may also like these

Kaspersky: We uploaded US documents but quickly...

Oct 25, 2017

The founder of Russian anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab says that his company automatically scraped...

Tiny particle blows hole in European satellite's...

Aug 31, 2016

The European Space Agency says a tiny particle has knocked a gaping hole in a solar panel on one of...

Hacker attack on German Parliament may be linked...

Mar 30, 2017

A top German police official says a recent hacking attack on Parliament may have led to a...

German court denies mother access to dead...

May 31, 2017

A regional court in Berlin has rejected a mother's suit to access the Facebook data of her dead...

German automakers' shares fall on diesel...

Jul 24, 2017

The German auto industry's troubles over excessive diesel emissions are looming larger

About Us

Science Tech Today is all about the present with what’s new in the Science and Technology world. “Keep up with today, and don’t be left behind.”

Contact us: sales@sttcom.com

Subscribe Now!