Last year Microsoft announced it was working with a number of manufacturers like Acer, ASUS, and Dell to develop mixed reality headsets. At this year’s Game Developers Conference, the company showed off the first fruits of its labor: A mixed reality headset from Acer.
The Acer Windows Mixed Reality Development Edition features two screens displaying at 1440×1440 pixels, a native 90Hz referesh rate, built-in audio, and a headphone jack. What’s more, the headset will not require built-in tracking, meaning developers (and, hopefully, consumers), won’t have to buy or install external trackers on their wall, allowing a higher degree of freedom. Microsoft also promises the setup process will be far simpler than other headsets – “just plug and play,” the company said in a blog post.
To coincide with the headset’s reveal, the company also gave out a “golden ticket” to everyone who attended the session in which they announced the headset, granting them a free development kit. The company announced it has shipped additional units to various other developers as well. Finally, the company announced it plans to bring mixed reality to “other devices over time, beyond desktop and Microsoft HoloLens,” including Project Scorpio.
For a quick refresher on what mixed reality looks like, here’s a video Microsoft posted back in December of last year.
[Source: Official Windows Blog]
My big question about this headset is how it will function as a the sort of office-like appliance the trailer demonstrates and to what degree Microsoft plans to compete with virtual reality headsets like the Vive and Oculus. Either way, the idea of not having external trackers is interesting, and could give it an advantage.