Intel has once again proved that it’s an active participant in the technology race.
While companies like Apple, Google, Samsung and Facebook are curled up in their secret labs working on virtual and mixed reality platforms, Intel has come out in the open to showcase a sleek VR gear which will offer users a rich, immersive experience.
Intel’s new VR gear will transport users to the sandy beaches of Caribbean or the deserts of Dubai. You could even take a peek at the Eiffel Tower or the Colosseum of Rome — without even being there.
Dubbed Project Alloy, Intel’s virtual reality goggles — also made compatible for so-called mixed reality — drags real-world objects into the virtual realm using 3D cameras. The new all-in-one virtual reality solution leverages Intel RealSense technology. Project Alloy will be offered as an open platform in 2017, the company announced.
According to the company’s press release, Intel is focusing on two prime aspects, ease of use and immersive experience.
In an effort to make the mixed reality experience hassle-free, Intel has made sure that its new gear is sleek and handy. This means no pesky wires hanging out of the device, which might ruin the user experience.
The headset uses Intel’s RealSense cameras, which have depth-sensing capabilities, to allow objects such as the user’s hands to be tracked and entered into the virtual world displayed within the goggles. It does not require additional sensors.
“The computing power is located in the Alloy Head-Mounted Device (HMD), which allows the user to experience VR untethered. That means you can ‘cut the VR cord,’ allowing a free range of motion with six degrees-of-freedom across a large space. This, combined with collision detection and avoidance, enables the user to utilize physical movement to explore a virtual space,” the press release stated.
The new merged reality is powered by Intel RealSense cameras attached to the VR headset and is not dependent on setting up any external sensors or cameras around the room.
During the opening keynote of the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco on August 16, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said, “Merged reality delivers virtual-world experiences more dynamically and naturally than ever before – and makes experiences impossible in the real world now possible.”
“Pick up your real-world tennis racket in your living room and step virtually on to the court at Wimbledon. Be the ultimate concert master – fully unplugged. Plan your virtual visit to the Sistine Chapel while never leaving the office. Experience a sporting event, a concert or a film scene from any point of view – and from any position,” he said, according to a report by The Guardian.
Intel also intends to open source the Alloy hardware next year, alongside its RealSense application programming interface (API) so third-party manufacturers can develop headsets of their own that run on Windows 10 and tap into Intel tech.
“Anybody can take the Alloy hardware, combine it with Windows Holographic, and build a world-class virtual reality system with any manufacturer they choose,” Krzanich said, according to The Verge.
“Merged reality goes beyond computer-generated content. It’s about bringing the real physical world into the digital world real time — and reimagining it with computing power,”said Krzanich in his blog on Medium.
“Regardless of whether you’re seeking to experience augmented reality or virtual reality, your freedom in the world of your choice depends on how you merge your realities and the technologies that enable you to cross over from the physical to the virtual, and the virtual to the physical. We’re rapidly moving toward a world where the boundary between the digital and the physical is eroding, and merging in new exciting ways. It’s truly the best of all worlds — and there’s only more to come,” added Krzanich.
[Image via Intel Corporation]