Windows update introduces ‘mixed reality’

Microsoft’s next update of its flagship operating system will bring augmented and virtual reality features to Windows 10 users.

The software update will be available worldwide from 17 October to existing customers of Windows 10, which runs on more than 500 million devices in homes, businesses and schools.

Known as the Fall Creators Update, the fourth major update to Windows 10 enables Windows Mixed Reality – a term used by Microsoft to describe software that covers both augmented and virtual reality.

“By combining our physical and digital worlds, we believe mixed reality is the next step in the evolution of human computing” said Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s Executive Vice President in charge of Windows, in a blog post. “For the first time, we are talking about a mixed reality system that fully immerses you in the experience not limited to a mobile device screen size. One that is easy to setup, not requiring you to mount cameras around the room, just put the headset on your head, plug it into your PC and get started, leaving your hands free to interact with the mixed world.”

Compatible headsets and motion controllers will be available from Acer, Dell, HP and Lenovo, with headsets priced from $299 (£227) and headset and motion controller bundles starting from $399 (£302).

Furthermore, for users without a headset, mixed reality experiences will also be available through the PC.

“With Mixed Reality Viewer, you can see 3D objects – either from the community or your own creation from Paint 3D – mixed into your actual surroundings through your PC’s camera – and snapped and shared – for powerful ways to tell your story” Myerson explained.

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