Windows Holographic Coming to Various Devices for 'Mixed Reality'

Windows Holographic, a Microsoft platform that allows the combination of virtual reality, holographic computing and real-world elements, is coming to various devices in the coming months, according to Microsoft. The expansion of this “mixed reality” platform, accessible through Windows 10, was announced last week by Microsoft Vice President Terry Myerson at Computex in Taiwan and on the Windows Experience Blog.

Myerson in his blog invited all of Microsoft’s original equipment manufacturers, original design manufacturers and hardware partners to build PCs, displays, accessories and mixed reality devices to function on the Windows Holographic platform. “For our partners, this creates new business opportunities, unlocking mixed reality experiences across devices,” Myerson said on his blog. “For developers, Windows Holographic apps can be written today with confidence that they will run on the broadest set of devices.”

Myerson mentioned Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, HTC, Acer, ASUS, CyberPowerPC, Dell, Falcon Northwest, HP, iBuyPower, Lenovo and MSI as some of the companies that are working on virtual and mixed reality experiences on Windows 10 and Windows Holographic.

“Mixed reality” involves creating and using devices that can also perceive the physical world. “Imagine wearing a VR device and seeing your physical hands as you manipulate an object, working on the scanned 3D image of a real object, or bringing in a holographic representation of another person into your virtual world so you can collaborate,” Myerson wrote on his blog.

In this mixed reality world, devices can spatially map a user’s environment, digital content can be manipulated as easily as physically moving objects, and people can teleport via holographic representations or travel together as a team, Myerson said.

The market for virtual reality devices is anticipated to be 80 million devices per year by 2020, according to Myerson. At the moment, the Microsoft HoloLens is the primary vehicle, or head-mounted display, for visual access to Windows Holographic. The goggle-like device started shipping in March and is already being used by companies such as NASA, Volvo and Lowe’s, Myerson said.  

Those interested in developing products in the Windows Holographic platform can learn more by visiting WinHec.com or attending WinHEC workshops this summer in Taipei and Shenzhen, China.

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at [email protected].