Intel and Microsoft are working together to try and make VR ubiquitous, just like they did with PCs. The companies have unveiled a new VR headset called Project Alloy that will be a direct competitor to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Compared to those devices, the new headset will provide more freedom: it doesn’t require a direct tether to a computer, and it uses depth-sensing cameras (rather than hand controllers) to track finger movements. Those same cameras also spot hazards, as well incorporating real footage into the virtual world—blurring the lines between augmented and virtual realities. The headset can also be run by mainstream PCs, unlike the $1,000 gaming rigs required by the Rift and Vive, and Microsoft will add support for virtual- and augmented-reality headsets to all Windows 10 computers as of next year. But perhaps most interesting is that Intel will open-source the designs for Project Alloy, so that any manufacturer can build its own version. That way, Intel and Microsoft could put VR on to the heads of very many people.
MIT Technology Review 08.17