Microsoft has announced, at the WinHEC event, its partnership with the Chinese company 3Glasses to create a high-performance HMD that will arrive in the first half of 2017 and will be compatible with the new Windows 10 update.
S1 Blubur is the new viewer that will create 3Glasses for Windows 10. It will have a resolution of 2880×1440 with a refresh rate of 120 Hz, which is a higher resolution and refresh rate than those of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive that have 2160×1200 and 90 Hz. It includes a 5.5″ LCD screen with low persistence, 110º viewing angle, absolute positioning using a camera with a range of 2 meters, motion controllers, and a weight of 358 grams, although as we well know weight is not everything in ergonomics.
Regarding the new Windows 10 update, Alex Kipman, from Microsoft, has stated the following in an interview with UploadVR: “We want a wide price range, a wide range of specifications, a wide range of control ways, and a single development platform so that the experiences work with the whole set. The devices have to be able to offer tracking with 6 degrees of freedom, that for me is the minimum requirement. From there it’s about giving the opportunity to partner manufacturers and freedom of choice to customers.”
According to Kipman, Microsoft is trying to do with its operating system what Oculus and Steam could not be able to achieve by being applications. Offering a homogeneous API for developers and a consistent interface with a single store for customers. Microsoft, in addition, intends to provide support for interacting with mixed reality, including controllers with or without absolute positioning, gamepads such as Xbox, keyboard, mouse and even voice commands, gestures or the use of gaze.
“Forking platforms and forking experiences does not help either developers or customers to choose. The invitation remains open for any HMD capable of offering 6 degrees of freedom, including HTC and Oculus, but they have to accept the invitation,” Kipman added.
Microsoft plans to offer development kits at the GDC in San Francisco that will take place from February 27 to March 3 next year. All those interested developers can fill out the following form to get a kit that it is not known if it will be free.