The Virtual Arena: VR Gets Schooled

Following on from previous coverage of the Enterprise approach for VR, and VRFocus columnist Kevin Williams, looks at the latest deployment of VR into the classroom and education structure revealed during the largest education and training event in Europe.

The Virtual ArenaMany of my regular followers will be familiar with the coverage I gave last year of The British Educational Training and Technology Show (BETT). So, it was with much interest that a returned to BETT 2018 to see how this initial interest in virtual reality (VR) technology was impacting the scene.

The BETT event filled London’s ExCel exhibition and convention centre, with a multitude of the latest technology learning and teaching aids – ranging from electronic whiteboards, smart teaching tablets, new 3D printing platforms, and the latest in machine learning applications to track pupil and student advancement.

The British Educational Training and Technology Show (BETT) - BETT 2018

Regarding VR in the classroom, the deployment of the immersive technology was still trying to define its offering – but was a force for good. The biggest presence on the mammoth show floor was from AVANTIS, building on last year’s presence, promoting their ClassVR platform. ClassVR offers a tough, self-contained head mounted display (HMD) designed for education. The unique headset featuring a see-through camera, and the ability to wireless communicate.


BETT 2018 - AVANTISThe company’s large booth saw a lot of interest, with AVANTIS running a special enclosure that represented a World War I trench. An illustration of how the VR platform can be used as a learning experience that fits into the national syllabus. The ClassVR system offered in a multiple eight-unit case for class teaching.


Another exhibitor that demonstrated their classroom ready VR platform was Redbox VR – offering their own ruggedly designed headsets, but in this case favouring a smart phone, rather than self-contained approach. The company having partnered to support the Google Cardboard standard for teaching (Google Expeditions). This partnership has resulted in a robust offering, with learning supported by a large content library.

BETT 2018 - Redbox VRBETT 2018 - Redbox VR

Google’s educational aspirations (Google for Education) were on display, with the company coming to BETT 2018 with a big booth promoting more their educational support content and smart apps than their hardware. But that was also looking at their curriculum and classroom advantage. The company did not have many Cardboard HMDs on their own booth, but were promoting their latest augmented reality (AR) tools, and how their Google Maps application married to class-based learning – Google Expeditions comprising some 700 experiences.

BETT 2018 - Google Education

One of the largest of the exhibitors on the show floor with a strong VR presence was Microsoft Worldwide Education, heavily promoting their Windows Mixed Reality offering in this sector of education. A wide selection of Windows Mixed Reality partners supported the booth with their headsets, including the HP VR1000, Acer AH101 and Dell Visor. Microsoft also promoted their Hololens AR solution, offering a comprehensive immersive platform solution, supported by a class-based VR and AR curriculum.

BETT 2018 - Microsoft Worldwide Education
The Dell Visor in use at BETT 2018.
BETT 2018 - Microsoft Worldwide Education
People were also able to get hands-on with Acer’s HMD.
BETT 2018 - Microsoft Worldwide Education
The Dell Visor

These headsets were seen across the BETT 2018 show floor – a concentrated effort by the manufacturers to support a Enterprise approach to VR, rather than focusing, as other headset developers, on a mainly VR gaming-related business approach.

On the Acer booth the company presented several of their educational endeavours, along with putting the Acer AH101 VR headset through its paces with a number of experiences.

BETT 2018 - Acer

Asus was also at the event, partnering up with Intel showed their Asus HC120 VR headset, tied into their virtual classroom demonstration, allowing for the immersive environment to be displayed in real-time to other classmates.

Dell Technologies (also in partnership with Intel and Microsoft) had a comprehensive education presentation across their product range, promoted as part of their “Virtual Futures” initiative. Their Dell Visor VR headset in its educational colours, going through its paces as a teaching tool allowing pupils to “delve” inside their subjects, with VR-based learning.

BETT 2018 - DellBETT 2018 - Dell Visor

Another of the supporters of the Windows Mixed Reality standard, Lenovo (once again in partnership with Intel) demonstrated their commitment to the VR learning opportunity, showing their Lenovo Explorer headset. But pride of place was also given to the new Lenovo Mirage Solo – freshly launched at CES that month, the Mirage supports the Google Daydream initiative.

BETT 2018 - Lenovo Mirage Solo
The Lenovo Mirage Solo
BETT 2018 - Lenovo Explorer
The Lenovo Explorer

The brand-new Lenovo Mirage Solo integrates Google’s WorldSense 6DOF positional tracking, as well as supporting a controller. Feeling more like a self-contained mobile VR application. It could be seen that Google’s Daydream has been slow out the blocks, though Lenovo were not shy in promoting their association.

BETT 2018 - Lenovo

BETT 2018 - Lenovo

Another of those supporting multiple approaches to offering a complimentary immersive solution to the educational sphere was HP. Along with their Windows Mixed Reality support, seen on the Microsoft booth, HP presented a selection of other VR solutions including an HTC Vive Backpack VR offering.

BETT 2018 - HPBETT 2018 - HP Backpack HTC Vive

Along with HP, many other exhibitors during BETT 2018 had HTC Vive room-scale setups on their booth demonstrating the application and opportunities that this approach had to offer. With regards Oculus VR, they were only seen on two booths, such as presented by Sensory Guru, who presented their Sensory VR – offering a wide variety of the latest VR platforms for deployment in special needs and educational services for inclusive classroom engagement.

Another exhibitor that has placed a considerable global effort into the promotion of a virtual classroom experience was VEATIVE Labs – the Singapore based operation presented a classroom application using their VEATIVE All-in-One headset, as well as a wide curriculum of specially created immersive content for students with teacher control built in. The company is also able to support other headsets, but with the VEATIVE solution is able to quickly adapt schools to the learning process.

BETT 2018 - Veative

BETT 2018 - Veative

It is the creation of this immersive content to best illustrate the power of VR learning that was also on display at this year’s BETT, with exhibitor HumanEyes Technologies demonstrating the VUZE VR camera, able to offer VR video and VR photo creation, perfect to be displayed in an educational approach.

BETT 2018 - HumanEyes with VUZE

BETT 2018 - HumanEyes with VUZE

While ClickView, provider of an online platform of curriculum-mapped videos for students, was branching beyond their conventional video content to specially created 360’ experiences building on the interactive education roots – with the ability for the teacher to build into the content questions and help shape the immersive learning approach.

BETT 2018 - ClickView

The appearance of HMDs in the educational landscape seemed to have stabilized at BETT 2018. With more practical solutions being promoted, rather than a feeling of just riding on the popularity of the tech trend. A novel approach seen at BETT was from exhibitors Rapid Electronics – along with their self-assembly programable robots and drones, the company also promoted their Airgineers VR googles, offering first-person view from their camera on their drone. The special wireless single offering a unique perspective, and is being employed in drone racing competitions. More an immersive display than true VR, it still offers a compelling experience – like the Live-Drive RC system reported in our IAAPA 2017 coverage.

BETT 2018 - Rapid Electronics with Airgineers

BETT 2018 - Rapid Electronics

And in conclusion it is the constant hunt for the next leading immersive technology trend that will shape the market that drives our attendance at the Enterprise industries events. BETT 2018 may have given a tantalising glimpse of the next trend on the horizon. Seen on a number of booths, the latest in projection systems – such as from Immersive Interactive, who presented a platform that can offer a immersive projected environment that is also interactive.

BETT 2018 - Immersive InteractiveProjection based immersive experiences obviously benefit from the ability to have multiple users immersed in the same experience, and does without the need for cumbersome HMDs and restrictive motion tracking. Though only now gathering momentum it is an interesting technology to keep in sight.

That is the conclusion of our coverage of BETT 2018 – we saw a lot of promise for VR, but also saw a powerplay by Windows Mixed Reality towards being able to control the high-ground of VR application, while developers such as AVANTIS start to see their VR platforms deployed into real-world locations. Next Years’ education event will prove to be where the reality of this tech’s benefit for immersive learning will be revealed.

There will be more from Kevin Williams and The Virtual Arena very soon, here on VRFocus.


The Best Windows VR Headset Deal for Cyber Monday 2017

The holiday shopping season is here, and VR is getting some sizable discounts to come along with it, making the prospect of owning a VR headset even more affordable. We’re keeping an eye out for the best Windows VR headset deals during Cyber Monday 2017.

Updated 11/27/17, 12:45AM ET

Windows VR Deal Baselines

Windows VR headsets, compatible with the ‘Windows Mixed Reality’ platform, have only been out a few months, and come from a variety of manufacturers including Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Samsung. All the headsets except for one, Samsung’s Odyssey headset, appear to be based on the same reference design provided by Microsoft, so they’re more or less the same outside of the obvious styling differences. To get a good idea of what’s at stake savings-wise though, here’s the headsets’ base prices:

  • Acer Headset + Controllers – $400
  • Lenovo Explorer + Controllers – $400
  • Dell Visor + Controllers – $450
  • HP Headset + Controllers – $450

Oh, and check out our review of Acer’s headset for a deep dive on what makes Windows VR headsets tick.

The Best Windows Mixed Reality Headset Cyber Monday Deal – Lenovo Explorer

Image courtesy Lenovo

If you want to join the ‘Windows Mixed Reality’ ecosystem and don’t care about the small differences between the first generation of Windows VR headsets, the best deal so far is the Lenovo Explorer for $300 from the Microsoft Store, a $100 savings which includes the headset and controllers. The deal lasts until 11:59 PM PST on November 27th.

This is by far the cheapest Windows VR headset on offer, making it the best deal out of the lot, however Microsoft is also offering discounts ranging from $50 to $100 on the other Windows VR headsets too:

The Best VR Ready PC + Windows VR Headset Bundle Cyber Monday Deal

Want to pick up a Windows VR headset but need a Windows VR PC to go along with it? The best deal we’ve found so far is this VR Ready PC and HP Mixed Reality headset bundle from Microsoft for $750.

Other Windows VR Headset Deals to Consider

There aren’t an abundance of game bundles, or other deals coming along with the headsets this year, as it seems Microsoft has set made the deals exclusive to the Microsoft Store. There are some interesting hardware bundles though if you don’t have a computer capable of running more intense applications and games:

There’s also the ongoing Steam Autumn Sale where you can save big on VR games (many of which now support Windows VR headsets).

If you’ve found a better deal on the web, let us know in the comments and we’ll include it in our savings round-up.

The post The Best Windows VR Headset Deal for Cyber Monday 2017 appeared first on Road to VR.

Microsoft’s Black Friday Deals Include $100 off Windows Mixed Reality Headsets

In just over a week’s time the annual Black Friday sales event happens, bringing with it plenty of discounts on technology that you’ve been after, just in time for the festive period. Today Microsoft has announced its Black Friday deals, which include the newly released Windows Mixed Reality head-mounted displays (HMDs).

The headsets only launched last month in conjunction with the Windows Fall Creators update for Win 10, so it’s surprising to see the devices discounted so early on in their lifespan. That’s good news for consumers however as it means they can save up to $100 USD when purchasing either an Acer, Dell Visor, HP, Lenovo Explorer, or Samsung Odyssey headset.

Windows Mixed Reality Headsets New

Additionally, so those who also need a new PC to run a Windows HMD, Microsoft has savings of up to $249 on PC bundles from Acer, Dell, and HP. If you want to know more about Windows Mixed Reality headsets, check out VRFocus’ guide on the devices.

While that’s all the virtual reality (VR) related savings available from Microsoft, the company has plenty of other deals going. There’s:

  • $329 off the Surface Pro i5 256GB and $229 off the Surface Pro i5 128GB
  • Save $199 with the purchase of Surface Laptop and the new Harmon Kardon Invoke speaker
  • Xbox One S will start from just $189, plus save $50 off Xbox One S 1TB and 500GB bundles

Last months launch was a fairly subdued affair, even though Microsoft had secured plenty of big name VR experiences for consumers to play. These included zombie shooter Arizona Sunshine, SUPERHOT VR, Space Pirate Trainer, Fantastic Contraption, Skyworld and many more. No official sales figures have been released just yet so Microsoft maybe hoping to bolster these numbers with Black Friday savings.

The Black Friday deals are available through the Microsoft Store, starting from 23rd and running through to 27th November, 2017.

VRFocus will continue its coverage of Microsoft and Windows Mixed Reality headsets, reporting back with the latest updates and deals.

A Guide to all the Content, Prices and Details for Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality Headset Launch Today

Today’s the day. If you hadn’t realised already from the vast amount of coverage on VRFocus and everywhere else, Microsoft has now officially entered the realm of virtual reality (VR) with the launch of its Windows Mixed Reality headsets. While the name may confuse some these new devices will still be going head-to-head with products like HTC Vive and Oculus Rift even though there’s a slight difference in tech. So today VRFocus will clear things up whilst giving you a comprehensive rundown of these new head-mounted displays (HMDs) and what content they currently offer.

For today’s launch – if you pre-ordered the headsets will be shipping today – there will be four devices on offer with a further two coming relatively soon. Microsoft teamed up with a range of manufacturers to build the HMDs rather than build its own, creating a core specification design that they’d all adhere to, whilst the body aesthetic could be different. Hence why there’s the Dell Visor, Acer Windows Mixed Reality HMD, HP Windows Mixed Reality HMD and Lenovo Explorer out now and Samsung Odyssey and Asus Windows Mixed Reality HMD still to come.

Windows Mixed Reality Headsets Collection

Whilst touted as mixed reality (MR) by Microsoft initially the headsets will lean more towards VR. Comparing them to Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, the biggest difference between these two and Microsoft’s offerings come down to tracking. Oculus Rift and HTC Vive both use what’s called outside-in tracking where users need to have external sensors to monitor headset and controller movement. Windows Mixed Reality headsets have inside-out tracking where the two cameras located on the front track where the user is and where the controllers are. Whilst this system is great for ease of use – no sensors to setup – and portability, the cameras are limited to their field of view (FoV). So if you move your hands behind your back, or over your shoulder – as some VR titles do to grab weapons – the tracking will no longer work.

Now lets look at the headsets themselves, their prices and availability.

Acer Windows Mixed Reality HMD

Acer’s entry was the first device in the range to be unveiled and comes in at the cheapest price for just the headset alone, retailing for $299 USD, or with the motion controllers the cost comes to $399. The headset comes equipped with two LCD displays with a resolution of 1440 x 1440, a 95 degrees horizontal FoV and a 4.0 meter cable. This can be ordered through the US Microsoft store or the UK store.

HP Windows Mixed Reality HMD

Next there’s HP’s version. This features exactly the same spec as the Acer just in a different body design. On the US Microsoft Store it costs slightly more for the headset and motion controllers, retailing for $449. While on the UK Microsoft Store it sells for £399.99 GBP.

Dell Visor

Dell has gone for a more striking design, with a sleek white minimalistic look. Just like the two previous HMDs specs are virtually identical with one difference, the Dell Visor has a 105 degree horizontal FoV. It’s priced at $449 on the US Microsoft Store but there’s no listing on the UK store. At present UK customers will need to go to Dell’s website where the headset and controllers are sold separately.

Dell Visor

Lenovo Explorer

The last headset that’s available to purchase now is the Lenovo Explorer. This has the same specifications as the Dell Visor, with a 105 degrees horizontal FoV, alongside the resolution of 1440 x 1440 and 4.0 meter cable seen in the rest. You can buy the Lenovo Explorer on the US Microsoft Store for $399 including the motion controllers. Again UK customers will have to go elsewhere with retailers like Currys PC World stocking the headset for £399.99.

Lenovo Explorer

Asus Windows Mixed Reality HMD

While the Asus HMD was revealed at the same time as the rest a delay was announced last month, pushing the release date of the device until Spring 2018. Specs are the same as the Acer with two LCD displays with a resolution of 1440 x 1440 and a 95 degrees horizontal FoV. The Asus does have one of the most visually interesting designs with a 3D polygonal shell. Currently only a European price of €449 EUR has been announced although it didn’t specify if that included the motion controllers.

Asus Windows Mixed Reality Headset

Samsung Odyssey

Appearing out the blue earlier this month was Samsung Odyssey which appears to be the daddy of the group. Having already created the Samsung Gear VR, the company has used this experience to differentiate its headset from the rest of the pack with a few tweaked specifications. So the Samsung Odyssey’s resolution is better, coming in at 1440 x 1600 per eye, rather than 1440 x 1440, an FoV of 110 degrees, integrated AKG headphones and an OLED display rather than LCD.

With all these extra’s the Samsung Odyssey comes in at $499, the most expensive of the lot. It can be pre-ordered here with a release date of 6th November 2017.

Samsung Windows Mixed Reality headset image 1

PC Specs for Windows Mixed Reality

So you’ve seen the headsets so what about the PC to run it on? Well Microsoft has ensured that they won’t need a massively powerful PC, with the minimum being an Intel Core i5 7200U processor, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, 10GB of free disk space, and an Intel HD Graphics 620 or DX12-capable GPU. These specifications will provide 60 frames-per-second (FPS) performance. If you go up to the Ultra PC specs below you’ll get 90 FPS. You can also check your PC if unsure with Microsoft’s PC Check App.

Windows Mixed Reality specs

Windows Mixed Reality Content

So you’ve got your new headset, now you’re going to need some content to play on it. Microsoft has ensured that there’s a few videogames and apps available to start you off, with more on the way thanks to Steam compatibility.


  • Arizona Sunshine – £33.49 / $39.99
  • Superhot VR – £20.99 / $24.99
  • Fantastic Contraption – £16.74 / $19.99
  • Skyworld – £33.49 / $39.99
  • Space Pirate Trainer – £12.49 / $14.99
  • Form – £12.49 / $14.99
  • Ghostbusters VR – Now Hiring Episode 1 – £5.79 / $6.99
  • Halo: Recruit – Free
  • Heroes of the Seven Seas – £5.79 / $6.99
  • Dreadhalls – £8.39 / $9.99
  • Stunt Kite Masters – £8.39 / $9.99
  • inVokeR – £12.49 / $14.99
  • Land of Dinosaurs VR – £2.49 / $2.99
  • Racket: Nx – £16.74 / $19.99
  • Tee Time Golf – £12.49 / $14.99
  • BingoClass – Free
  • HeadSquare – £4.19 / $4.99
  • Dark Legion – £14.24 / $16.99
  • Headbutt Factory – £16.74 / $19.99
  • Hypercade – £4.19 / $4.99


  • vTime – Free
  • Pixvana 360 Video Player – Free
  • – Free
  • Ryot – Free
  • Littlestar VR Cinema – Free
  • Inception VR – Free
  • NextVR – Free
  • Free The Night – Free
  • theBlu: Season 1 – £8.39 / $9.99
  • MoveStudio – Free
  • The Rose And I – Free
  • Films & TV – Free
  • YouKu VR Pro – Free
  • Holograms – Free

Ok that’s your lot, well almost. There’s one important issue that VRFocus hasn’t covered and that’s the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. You’ll need this to make the headsets work and the rollout begins at 10am PT/6pm BST today. Handily Microsoft has released a blog post to walk you through manually checking if your device is part of the first phase rollout.

Windows Mixed Reality: Launch, Halo, SteamVR and AltSpaceVR’s Saving Grace

Microsoft held a special ‘Windows Mixed Reality’ event today in San Francisco, using to showcase to make several big announcements, all of which firmly cement the company’s ambitions for the virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) space. All with the intentions of making it more affordable, accessible and social for consumers. With a new Samsung headset, the acquisition of social VR platform AltspaceVR, developers now having access to a SteamVR preview, and a passing mention of a little experience called Halo: Recruit.  

So where to start. Well the Samsung Odyssey headset wasn’t too much of a surprise with images of the device leaking last week and a Microsoft store page appearing earlier today that detailed specs, release date and a price. It features dual AMOLED displays which Samsung is known for, built-in spatial AKG headphones and dual microphones, 110 degree field of view (FoV) and inside-out tracking.

A surprise however came by way of AltspaceVR, with Microsoft announcing that it had acquired the VR social app that had closed its doors back in August. So not only will the platform comes to Windows Mixed Reality it’ll still support cross-platform compatibility with other headsets.

Adding another update to previously known news, Microsoft will be bringing SteamVR support to Windows Mixed Reality very soon. Starting today developers will be provided access to a SteamVR preview so they can tryout their experiences with consumers gaining access to the preview this holiday.

And what would a Microsoft event be like if it didn’t feature at least something Halo related. So the company unveiled Halo: Recruit which is due for release this month alongside the headsets. It might not be a full Halo experience but it certainly sounds like it’ll appeal to fans.

There’s were a few other morsels of info flying around this evening so check out VRFocus’ full rundown of the announcements in the below video.

Dell’s VR ‘Visor’ Headset Now Available For Pre-order at $350, Shipping Mid-October

Dell’s virtual reality headset may be only one out of an entire fleet of PC VR devices designed with the auspices of Microsoft, but it appears to be the first consumer headset of the bunch currently up for pre-order.

Slated to deliver their first batch on October 17th, you can pre-order the headset from Dell for $350, the controllers separately for $99, or the whole controller/headset bundle for $450. The company is currently offering free shipping for a limited time, although it’s not certain for how long.

Windows VR headsets (dubbed ‘Mixed Reality’ by the Microsoft) offer inside-out tracking, meaning there’s no external sensors needed to run a VR experience. Coming from various OEMs, other headsets are set to launch soon too from HP, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer. We got out hands on an early Acer developer kit at Microsoft’s Build conference, and reported that the headset was light, comfortable, and tracking was impressive. Check out the hands-on article here.

Report: Steam Support for Windows VR Headsets Won't Be Ready at Launch

We we tested the Windows VR controller, it left something to be desired in the ergonomics department however, as they were remarkably clunky in comparison to similarly designed controllers like Oculus Touch. Because the controllers are tracked by the headset itself, and don’t require any beacon or external sensor, tracking proved to be accurate for the setup, and surprisingly outperformed the PSVR Move Camera tracking solution. Check out our full hands-on with the controller here.

Dell Visor Pre-order Page

image courtesy Dell

We also had a chance to go hands-on with a non-functioning version of headset at Gamescom in Cologne. Although we didn’t get a chance to really try it out, the premium materials used and the halo-style headstrap make for an extremely comfortable wearing experience. The added rubberization to the exterior meant for a good grip, easy cleanup and no fingerprints like some more plasticy models in the Windows ‘Mixed Reality’ headset lineup.

Dell Visor Specs

  • Dual Sharp LCDs at 1440 x 1440
  • 2.89” diagonal display size (x2)
  • Front-hinged display
  • Fresnel Lenses
  • 110 degrees horizontal field of view
  • Display refresh rate up to 90 Hz (native)
  • Single cable with HDMI 2.0 (display) and USB 3.0 (data) for connectivity
  • Inside-out tracking
  • 4.00m cable

The post Dell’s VR ‘Visor’ Headset Now Available For Pre-order at $350, Shipping Mid-October appeared first on Road to VR.

Pre-Orders For Dell Visor Mixed Reality Headset Now Available

Many people are excited about the upcoming consumer release of the various Windows 10 Mixed Reality (MR) headsets. Its good news if you are one of those people, since pre-orders for the Dell Visor MR headset are now open.

Due to begin shipping on 17th October, the headset is available for pre-order in the US from Dell.Com, or in the UK from or PC World. The device is set to be priced at $349.99 (USD) for the headset, $99.99 for the controllers, or $449.99 for a bundle.

Similar to other Windows 10 MR devices, the Dell Visor offers a resolution of 1440×1440 per eye, dual 2.89” LCD panels, a 110 degree field of view and a refresh rate of 90Hz. Using similar technology to what is available in the Microsoft HoloLens, the Dell Visor uses inside-out tracking, so no additional cameras or tracking base stations are needed. The headset has a flip-up hinge so users can quickly check their real-life surroundings when needed.

Dell Visor

The controllers are fully tracker and offer force-feedback, a thumbstick and track pad and is capable of 6Dof. As we have previously reported, Windows 10 MR devices will be compatible with VR content on Steam, as well as VR and MR content from the Windows Store. Like most Windows 10 Mr devices, the Dell Visor can use integrated graphics on lower-spec PC set-ups for some simple VR applications.

Upon launch on October, the device will be available from the Microsoft Store, Best Buy Stores and BestBuy.Com as well as directly from the Dell website.

VRFocus will bring you further news on the Dell Visor and other Windows 10 MR devices as it becomes available.

More Windows 10 Mixed Reality Devices To Run on Integrated Graphics

It was previously reported on VRFocus that the upcoming Windows 10 mixed reality (MR) device from Lenovo, the Lenovo Explorer, would be able to run some MR applications using integrated graphics. Now information has emerged suggesting other Windows 10 MR devices might also be able to use integrated graphics.

According to investigations by Digital Trends, Intel is heavily invested in virtual reality (VR) and MR and is interested in allowing users to make use of the Intel UHD integrated graphics that come as standard with many Intel-based PC motherboards and laptops.

For the most part, users who want to play VR videogames or use VR applications need a high-end graphics card such as the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080. Some members of Intel’s R&D team are wanting this to change.

Dell Visor

Speaking to Digital Trends, Kim Pallister, director of Intel’s Virtual Reality Center of Excellence said: “The PC industry works really well when there’s a good, better, best model, and people can pick the price-performance tradeoffs they want. We started to do a number of things to say, OK, what would it take to still hit a really high-quality experience, one that doesn’t make people nauseated or things like that, but dials down other areas, in terms of visual fidelity,” she explained, “There’s no reason Minecraft in VR isn’t feasible,” Pallister said. “The important part is that it’s still comfortable, cool, and immersive.”

Intel have been working with Microsoft on the Windows 10 MR project. Specifically mentioned was the Dell Visor, part of the range of Windows 10 MR devices expected to go on sale in October, 2017. It seems that, similar to the Lenovo Explorer, the Dell Visor will support integrated graphics for some applications. If the other Windows 10 MR devices from Acer, HP and Asus will do the same is unknown at this time, but since all the devices share similar specifications, it seems likely.

VRFocus will continue to bring you information on Windows 10 Mixed Reality devices.

Summary of Microsoft’s Latest Mixed Reality Headsets From IFA 2017

At Microsoft’s keynote IFA 2017 in Berlin Germany, Microsoft showcased their serious interest in their mixed reality (MR). Microsoft is working together with partners Acer, HP, Lenovo, Dell and Asus to provide a range of MR Head-mounted displays (HMD’s) that all have Windows 10 and Cortana on them. All five of these MR HMD’s will be released on October 17th this Fall and the prices will start from $299, with some coming as bundles. For example Dell’s MR HMD’s known as the ‘Visor’ will be $349.99 USD with controllers set to be $99.99, but are now retailing for $449.99 as bundle package. Some of the headsets can be pre-ordered already but Visor is not one of them.

The controllers have an LED tracking system, a home button, front trigger, lower grip trigger and analog stick. The sensors on the headsets are able to track the controllers and therefore you do not need extra sensors or lighthouses in order to be tracked. It’s encouraging to see such a range available for various price ranges for mixed reality headsets all in one go. It allows consumers to choose what is best for them and at different price points.

What has to be noted is that these are not all-in-one headsets. You are still requirde to purchase a virtual reality (VR) ready PC or laptop, which Microsoft are prepared for. They have a “Windows Mixed Reality Ultra” line of computers that will run experiences at 90 frames per second (FPS), the optimal standard for VR as well as “Windows Mixed Reality”, which will run experiences at 60FPS, a minimum standard for FPS. Though not all the prices or specs have been revealed for all the headsets, it’s important to note that both high-end VR HMD’s; the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have come down in price recently with the Oculus Rift with Touch controllers retail for $399 in their temporary summer sale and the HTC Vive dropping down in $200 in price to £599. As prices continue to drop for HMD’s, consumers are given more choice than ever when it comes to accessing VR experiences, it just becomes the price of the PC or laptop that comes with it.

VRFocus already previously discussed content available for the headsets, which will include future projects on Halo with 343 Industries. The MR HMD’s will have content accessible such as Space Pirate Trainer, Superhot Vr, Arizona Sunshine and Rec Room to name a few. With Steam VR supporting the headsets, MR HMD’s buyers should have access to all the VR titles in the Steam VR library. With JauntVR’s app and other applications 360 video content can also be enjoyed in the headset.

To find out more watch the video below.

Windows Mixed Reality Collection Aims to Cover all Bases

This week has finally seen Microsoft properly discuss the upcoming launch of its Windows Mixed Reality (MR) platform which its building with manufacturing partners Acer, HP, Asus, Lenovo and Dell. For the company’s IFA press conference today, Microsoft unveiled what it calls the Windows Device Collections, a fancy way of bundling similar products together for a nice rounded look. So there’s a Premium Collection for the top end devices, a Gaming Collection for – you guessed it – gamers, and several more. Naturally MR got a look in with the Mixed Reality Collection, with Microsoft pointing out some of the differences between the headsets that may sway consumers.

As you may expect most of those differences revolved around aesthetic design. Each manufacturer has gone for a particular look, with Dell opting for a minimal white design while Asus has taken a much more striking approach with a polygonal look. While the other three have gone for a more generic design, with Acer adding a splash of colour to make it pop.

Windows Mixed Reality Headsets Collection

As the headsets are all based off of a Microsoft core design, how they actually work and their internals are virtually identical. The tech giant did try and point out some fundamental differences, some more obvious than others. The flip hinge on the Acer headset was noted during the press conference – although looking at the design of each one they all bear the hinge.

Supposedly the Lenovo has a focus on comfort, ideal for long play sessions – so does that mean the rest aren’t? The Dell was noted to have swappable face pads should users get all hot and sweaty, but again if the other’s don’t there won’t be any sharing or local multiplayer fun. The one feature of note was for the HP headset, which has a quick release cable – handy if it gets snagged or trodden on.

So has Microsoft already tempted you into buying a Windows Mixed Reality headset? Prices start from $299 USD for the Acer, with bundles including the motion controllers starting at $399. Plus there’s the fact that Steam support has now been confirmed, adding a wealth of titles to the launch.

As ever, keep reading VRFocus for the latest updates.