Microsoft reveals Dell and Asus Windows Mixed Reality headsets

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Further to the announcement of the development of Windows mixed reality headsets, Microsoft has today unveiled the first creations by Asus and Dell who have both created Windows mixed reality headsets that will shortly be available on the consumer market. Han highlighted a diverse mix of Windows 10 devices that take advantage of new capabilities such as enhanced inking, built-in game broadcasting, and advanced security all captured in handsome hardware designs.

At the annual tech extravaganza in Taipei, Microsoft is talking up headsets and the Internet of Things but, more importantly for consumers, how its close working relationship with most of the world's leading electronics firms is going to make these new technologies and devices an affordable reality for all.

At Microsoft Build, held earlier this month, Alex Kipman previewed Windows Mixed Reality developer kits for the new headsets from Acer and HP.

Like other upcoming mixed-reality headsets for Windows, it borrows the inside-out tracking capabilities found in HoloLens, Microsoft's high-end headset ($3,000). From new business models like dynamic story bundling and cloud, to expanding the ecosystem into new areas like Cortana-enables speakers and head-mounted displays along with motion controllers for mixed reality, devices are creating new opportunities for partners.

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What that means is each Windows MR could have wildly different specifications from each other. Lenovo's headset includes built-in sensors for inside-out tracking, and a rather basic design.

Note: I had the opportunity to try out the Acer HMD at Build 2017 in the Datascape demo and I was very impressed with the experience from how comfortable the headset was to the visual effects as I interacted with the 360 degree virtual environment.

In addition, Microsoft announced "Always Connected" devices will be coming from ASUS, HP and Lenovo, on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset.

ASUS which already has Oculus-Ready ROG gaming desktops and VR-Ready VivoPC X is now expanding on its portfolio into the emerging mixed reality category. Microsoft doesn't mention whether Asus' headset will be available later this year, so it's possible it might not arrive until 2018. It will come with a weight balanced headband, cable routing, cushions that are replaceable, and a flip-up visor.

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