Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 7 is a phenomenal smartphone and Apple’s next-generation iPhone 7 is shaping up to be an exciting upgrade as well. Companies are making huge strides in the virtual reality space right now, and we’re seeing very early versions of autonomous driving software reach the public. But for my money, mixed reality devices like Microsoft’s HoloLens make up the most exciting segment in consumer technology right now — at least, in terms of products that will materialize and be widely available in the next couple of years.
On Tuesday, Microsoft gave users even more cause for excitement when it announced ambitious plans to make mixed reality tech widely accessible as soon as next year.
DON’T MISS: Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review
Have you ever tried an Oculus Rift? How about HTC’s Vive virtual reality headset? If you haven’t, you’re really missing out. Devices like these combine high-quality 360-degree video with advanced tracking sensors to create some of the most immersive VR experiences the world has ever seen. As great as these headsets are, however, they’re not quite ready for the public at large because they require excessively powerful computers that are also excessively expensive.
The developer version of Microsoft’s HoloLens is also pricey $3,000. But once a consumer version is available at a much more reasonable price, consumers won’t have to worry about buying a $2,000 PC on top of their HoloLens purchase. Microsoft announced on Tuesday that its Windows Holographic platform will arrive on all Windows 10 PCs sometime next year as an update to the Windows 10 OS.
In other words, every Windows 10 on the market will instantly become compatible with the HoloLens and other Windows Holographic-compatible mixed reality devices that might launch in the coming years. The announcement came from Microsoft’s Terry Myerson during the 2016 Intel Developer Forum, and it’s exciting news for the future of holographic computing.
Check out the video below, which will give you just a tiny taste of the possibilities for mixed reality. Seriously… how awesome is this demo?