Microsoft's brave new world of Mixed Reality?

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It may be nothing to do with mobile, but it's everything to do with how Microsoft sees the future of computing. And, while I completely disagree with the current implementations (there's no way that average men and women are going to spend 12 hours a day inside Darth Vader-like helmets), the demos at Microsoft's event yesterday were still very impressive. Which is why I mention Mixed Reality at all, since the half an hour event video is well worth a watch, think of it as a primer for how far the technology has got in 2017.

The video first, then. As usual, maximise or click through to YouTube as needed:

Jaw dropping in places, I think you'll agree - but it's still not going to take the world by storm. It's a modern day niche - as 3D displays were before it, as smart watches still are, and so on. In my humble opinion. All great tech, but ultimately not going to change the lives of the mainstream in the same way the smartphone itself did (starting in 2007 with the Nokia N95 and original Apple iPhone).

Microsoft has a lengthy post up about the event, here are some quotes:

Mixed reality will unleash the creativity of every person and every organization on the planet. Our journey has been filled with key moments in time that have shown us what is possible as we enter this next era of computing, the era of mixed reality. From the introduction of Microsoft HoloLens, the world’s first fully self-contained holographic computer in January 2015, to the welcoming of enterprise partners like Ford Motor Company, the inspiration and creativity we have seen customers and modern workplaces continues to inspire us and drive us forward.

Today, in San Francisco was another key moment in time. I had the privilege of sharing more about Microsoft’s mixed reality vison. We unveiled a Windows Mixed Reality headset from Samsung, the Samsung HMD Odyssey, which joins the family of Windows Mixed Reality headsets. I talked about the work we are doing with SteamVR and announced that AltspaceVR is joining our Microsoft team. Finally, we kicked off the holiday buying season by celebrating the availability of pre-orders for Windows Mixed Reality headsets.

...We are standing at the threshold of the next revolution in computing. A revolution where computers empower us to expand our capabilities and transcend time, space, and devices. A revolution where we immerse ourselves in virtual worlds of our choosing and we accomplish seemingly impossible things while making lasting memories with the people we love. 

Our sense of what is possible is set to be transformed as we enter a new era of computing, the era of mixed reality. We have started to see this transformation take place in the modern workplace and soon we’ll see it in every facet of life. With mixed reality, our ideas move beyond the boundaries of paper, beyond the boundaries of screens, and beyond the boundaries of description. This is the fundamental promise of mixed reality. The barrier that exists between our physical and digital worlds will disappear...

...All Windows Mixed Reality headsets coming this holiday are now available for pre-order! To get yours now from the Microsoft Store, please check out the product-specific pre-order pages below.

Mixed reality on Windows PCs all begins with the upcoming release of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. It’s the first spatial operating system – complete with a library of content that will inspire you, and a portfolio of the best, easiest to use and most affordable headsets paired with the most powerful motion controllers. If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to download the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update on October 17 or upgrade to a new PC and start exploring these amazing new mixed reality capabilities.

Source / Credit: Microsoft