XR Gift Guide: Windows Mixed Reality

Mixed Reality is on the way, do you want to get onboard early?

by Derek Sante
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To begin with, in regards to Windows Mixed Reality headset, the “Mixed Reality” part of its name is currently more of a branding and selling point, than an actuality right now. Microsoft does have HoloLens technology on the way that we are very excited about, but it is not ready for the masses, quite yet.

So back to Windows Mixed Reality, which is very much VR, right now, but does have the guts for something great, especially when you get into the realm of tracking. Unlike Occulus and Playstation VR, which use Outside-In Tracking, meaning external cameras or sensors to orientate the unit. WMR units have the cameras and sensors built into the unit, which means that the worlds you inhabit aren’t boxed in by peripherals. This will be a major building block when it comes to Mixed Reality, as you will want ease of movement to really take advantage of merging realities. That, and losing the long ropy cable dragging behind you. As the current VR code states though, “With great graphics, comes great long tethers to PC responsibility”.

Speaking of graphics, let’s get into the hardware, because the numbers look to be pretty nifty. Most WMR models are built out with LCD delivering a 1440x1440 resolution to each eye on 2.89 inch screens. While Samsung’s HMD Odyssey hits a whopping 1440x1600 resolution to each eye on two 3.5 inch AMOLED screens.  Making Samsung the best choice for WMR at this time, as long as you don’t mind spending the extra $50 or $100 for the quality.

As a final point, you should know that Windows and WMR are ready to play with, but not leading the pack. We see the potential in their Inside-Out Tracking and hear rumblings of possible gaming partnerships, but outside of their audio, which is pretty great. You might have to take the long bet on the future of these headsets and await the announced innovations to deliver on their Mixed Reality promises.

LED Specs:  1440x1440 on 2.89 inch screen
AMOLED Specs: 1440x1600 on 3.5 inch screens.

Derek Sante

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$400 - $500