Intel Made A VR Headset And It's Totally Cord-Free

Intel just announced its own virtual reality headset called Project Alloy, a VR competitor to the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and the forthcoming PlayStation VR headsets. But what separates the Alloy from the pack is that it's completely wireless (the wire above is for capturing video for the demo) and it should give you complete spatial awareness without all the dongles the Rift and Vive currently require. Screenshot: Project Alloy

It does this using two of Intel's RealSense cameras to continuously map your environment. It can even map your hands.

Like so:

Yeah, you still kinda look like a dork. But cool!

Intel calls the idea "Merged Reality", essentially combining inputs from cameras around your environment into a virtual world. And Intel was able to pack everything -- the processor, sensors and controllers -- into one cord-free headset.

During Intel's demo, however, the RealSense camera didn't seem quite as fluid as you'd hope, especially if it's your primary means of reacting to the digital world around you. Intel says that its hardware will be open source in the second half of 2017 (ugh), so the headset won't be available anytime soon. Intel is also working with Microsoft so Alloy can run Windows Holographic, the software which powers Hololens, according to Microsoft's Terry Myerson. Microsoft says that Windows Holographic will also be released in an update for all Windows 10 PCs next year.



    Get ready, here comes the future!

    There's a trade off here. Where the Vive and Oculus use the PC to do all the graphics processing, physics processing, tracking calculations, and such; This new headset is doing it all in the headset? That's going to mean considerable limitations on those processes, and a considerably heavier headset especially with a Lithium Ion battery inside. Not to mention heating in the headset? Is it going to have a fan in it? That will be distracting attached to your face. It's a great idea, but hardware is no where near the point where we can strap a decent VR computer stand alone to the front of our faces.

      Possible that it's transmitting sensory input back to the computer wirelessly and having the final calculations and video sent back to it.

        Latency would be too high in that case. In VR any latency at all can make you sick. if a game hangs a little when I'm playing on my Vive it's really disorienting.

        Last edited 17/08/16 5:42 pm

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