The era of immersive technologies is here and innovations are happening fast. Microsoft revealed an updated version of Windows Holographic at Computex earlier this year, which demonstrated a mixed reality environment that can be accessed with Microsoft Hololens and VR HMDs. At IDF 2016 today, Microsoft announced that Windows Holographic is more than just a concept. The software will be released next year as an update to Windows 10.
Windows Holographic is a mixed reality shell that can be shared among colleagues or friends. The environment interfaces with universal Windows applications and allows you to place hovering holographic windows around you. Windows Holographic supports simultaneous use of 2D and 3D applications. It also takes advantage of 6-degrees of freedom controllers so you can interact Windows Holographic the same way you do for Steam VR.
Microsoft said that when Windows Holographic launches next year it will run on “mainstream Windows 10 PCs.” We’re not sure what will be considered a mainstream PC when Windows Holographic is released, but Microsoft gave us a bit of a hint. According to the software company, the Windows Holographic experience demonstrated in the video below was running at 90 fps on an Intel NUC mini PC.
Microsoft is working with Intel and “several partners” to come up with a specification for mixed reality ready PCs and HMDs that are meant for mainstream consumers and business markets. The specifications have yet to be locked down, but if 90 fps in mixed reality from a compact Intel NUC is a sign of what’s to come, VR, AR and MR should become much more accessible next year. Microsoft said that the specifications for MR-ready PCs will be announced in December at the Windows Hardware Engineering Community (WinHEC) (opens in new tab) conference in Shenzhen, China.