Windows Mixed Reality headsets now available on the Microsoft Store
In May Microsoft started accepting pre-orders from developers for the Windows Mixed Reality Headset developer kit. Now both the Acer and HP headsets are listed on the United States Windows Store, but you shouldn't buy one yet. The listings for both products say that they are for developers only, which of course means that there isn't going to be any content for consumers to use with them. However, we can gain an insight into the devices from these pages.
- 2 x 2.89 inch LCDs
- 1440 x 1440 resolution
- 90 Hz refresh rate
- 95-degree horizontal field of view
- 1 x HDMI 2.0
- 1 x USB 3.0 (data)
- 4 meter (13 feet 2 inches) cable — the HP unit specifies removable cable and an additional 60 cm (23 1/2 inches) cable
Several months ago Microsoft claimed that the minimum specifications needed to run the headsets as an end-user are much lower than current virtual reality headsets and would work well with entry level PCs running integrated graphics. If you are a developer, however, then the system requirements are significantly higher than entry level:
- Intel i7 with at least six cores or AMD Ryzen 7 1700
- 16 GB RAM or higher
- Windows 10 with creators update and developer mode enabled
Whether this means that the dream of entry-level mixed reality usage is dead, or if the development requirements are just higher remains to be seen.
It will be interesting to see what kinds of software developers come up with over the next few months. Since these headsets use dual front cameras to give a mixed reality experience, we wonder if they will find more applications within a shop or showroom environment. Imagine putting one on at the car dealership and seeing the different paint options overlaid on the car in front of you, or going to an empty house section you purchased and overlaying the designs of available house plans from which to choose.
The Acer model is US$299 and the sold out HP model is US$329.