Last year, Microsoft announced partnerships with HP, Dell, Lenovo, Acer and Asus to offer a range of VR/AR headsets that are priced at $299 and feature inside-out tracking. It was essentially the first step towards democratizing mixed reality (MR) for the masses. Today, during a presentation at GDC, Brandon Bray, principal group program manager, revealed the Windows Mixed Reality program and the Acer Windows Mixed Reality Development Edition headset, which it's beginning to ship to development partners this month.
The headset is plug-and-play with no complicated setup, and because it has built-in inside-out tracking there is no need to purchase or install external trackers or sensors. The Acer edition features two high-resolution liquid crystal displays at 1440 x 1440 resolution with a refresh rate up to 90 Hz (native), along with built-in audio out and microphone support and a single cable with HDMI 2.0 (display) and USB 3.0 (data) for connectivity.
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"We've all been living in a world where all the digital content we've experienced has been trapped behind 2D screens for most of our lives. It's time we start breaking free of that," Bray said to a room full of developers who were given "golden tickets" to redeem for a free Acer MR development headset.
Importantly, Windows Mixed Reality experiences will not be the sole domain of HoloLens or PC users, as Microsoft said it will be coming to the Xbox One family, including Project Scorpio in 2018.