Move over Facebook s virtual reality and Pokemon GO s augmented reality because it is time for Microsoft s mixed reality. As the name suggests, mixed reality merges the real world with the virtual world. With mixed reality, Microsoft aims to give users the ability to experience content using just the webcam. Also Read - Best laptops under Rs 35,000 in October 2021: Asus VivoBook 15, Avita PURA, moreAlso Read - Arm-based notebook PC processor market could grow to $949 million in 2021
Besides announcing the new, lightweight Windows 10 S OS, Microsoft has also announced a new app called View Mixed Reality. It will allow any Windows 10 device to leverage the power of augmented reality. The app is expected to be released with the upcoming Microsoft Windows 10 update that will be rolled out later this year. It will essentially allow users with a Windows 10 device, such as a laptop or a 2-in-1, to experience mixed reality content. However, there is a catch, the users will still be required to have specialized hardware that aids in the experience. Also Read - Best laptops under Rs 30,000 in October 2021: Lenovo V14, ASUS VivoBook 14, more
To help understand, virtual reality requires the use of a dedicated hardware such as a headgear or glasses (read Facebook Oculus Rift or Samsung Gear VR) to engage in immersive content, whereas for augmented reality, a separate hardware is not required (read Google Glass) as all the information is projected onto real-time environments. In the case of the popular game like Pokemon GO, all the virtual information is displayed on the screen of the smartphone using the rear camera.
Mixed reality as an amalgamation of the two – it utilizes the Windows 10 device s camera and works in coordination with a special headset, creating an interactive virtual space where objects seem to float out of the display. This new feature will be included in any PC running Windows 10 S, a new version of Windows 10 which specially designed for classroom use. ALSO READ: Apple AR glasses rumors strengthen after injury reports
The new feature, as an app, will allow users to not only augment 3D objected created in the new 3D Paint using any Windows 10 laptop with a webcam, but also help in educating the young minds in a more interactive manner. One of the advantages of this feature is that it works even with a USB webcam.
Companies are gradually moving towards exploring newer forms of immersive technology following the huge success witnessed by simpler hardware like Google Cardboard and games such as Pokemon GO. While Facebook is already fine-tuning its Rift headset with the use of hand-held controllers, Apple CEO Tim Cook, who has expressed the company s interest in augmented reality, believes that VR distances users from reality while AR is more inclusive. Mixed reality, on the other hand, seeks to blend the two and result in a different interactive medium. ALSO READ: Google Pixel, Pixel XL use camera software originally developed for Google Glass
It is worth mentioning that View Mixed Reality is different from the technology that underlays Microsoft s HoloLens. While the former is an app and allows overlaying digital images over the real world, HoloLens is more like a holographic computer that projects holographic images over real surroundings and also lets you interact with them.