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Intel Unveils Next Generation “Mixed Reality” Project Alloy But When Will VR Actually Become Widely Commercial?

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Intel has unveiled its next generation virtual reality and its an “all-in-one virtual reality solution” solution it calls Project Alloy. This according to the company was unveiled to bring mixed reality closer to us by giving us what you can call the best of both worlds. Mixed reality brings together real world objects into the virtual one and in the case of Project Alloy using 3D cameras.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich while unveiling Project Alloy said “Merged reality delivers virtual world experiences more dynamically and naturally than ever before – and makes experiences impossible in the real world now possible.”

Unlike your regular VR headset which use a number of cameras and sensors, the Intel solution uses RealSense cameras which use “depth-sense” which eventually eliminates the need for additional sensors.

While Intel is opening up the project to developers, it already received a big endorsement in Microsoft’s Hologram platform which will be available on Windows computers from 2017. This means Windows PC users with the aid of Project Alloy or Microsoft’s Hololens will soon be able to enter into mixed reality mode.

Intel’s Craig Raymond displays the Project Alloy virtual reality headset during the Day 1 keynote at the 2016 Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016.

Intel’s Craig Raymond displays the Project Alloy virtual reality headset during the Day 1 keynote at the 2016 Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. 

 

While this year has been the year of virtual, augmented and mixed realities’ announcement, only HTC’s Vive and Facebook’s Oculus Rift devices have hit the market which further casts doubt on the viability of commercialising virtual reality. Casting further doubt on this is whether the market is ready for such wearable like 3D glasses. A poll conducted by CNET suggests that the number of people wearing 3D glasses for TV continued to drop well into 2015. Despite that tepid response, Hollywood churned out more 3D movies, released them on Blu-ray, and TV companies kept pumping out 3D-capable TVs that got marginally better, but not by much.

Quietly, over the last year or so, 3D seems to be disappearing. Fewer 3D Blu-rays, less support on the TV manufacturer side, and other factors point to a gradual phasing out of the least-interesting TV feature since…well, I can’t even come up with a funny comparison here. 3D itself is usually the punchline to that joke.”

While the 3D fever seems to be declining, games could save VR. By now I believe if you’re reading this and you haven’t heard of Pokémon GO, then you might be on another planet but click on the link and learn more about it. This crazy success story might tell us something about the future of these services.

If it does become a commercial success eventually, you should know that as with all technologies, there’s a dark side that you may not know about and if it matters, just use wisely but definitely use because it’s a really a different world out there with VR, AR and MR.

Intel will open the Alloy hardware and provide open APIs for the ecosystem, allowing developers and partners to create their own branded products from the Alloy design, in 2017.

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