Virtual and augmented reality is pretty common to see these days. But what is the biggest drawback of these two? They don’t interact with real-world objects. What if you could play COD: black ops with a toy gun in your hands, in a virtual environment?
It would be a heck of a lot better than holding the simulation stick like the ones on the Oculus Rift, wouldn’t it? Well, Intel has been working on something which is called as merged reality. It’s a mixture of virtual and actual environments and it’s pretty cool.
The headset is just like any other VR headset at first glance, but you’ll notice quite a large number of sensors at the front. These include a proximity sensor array, along with cameras to fuse the real world with the virtual one. So you can still see your hands in the virtual environment being simulated! Specific games can be developed where you play with actual objects in real life and trigger cool things in the VR realm!
You can use the alloy anywhere you like. The multi-room tracking and RealSense, analyze any given space and prepare the virtual environment accordingly. So you can do virtual pottery with your own hands, which will be digitally simulated onto the virtual space. You get up to six degrees of freedom to move about, without any proprietary controllers or signal reflectors in our hands. That’s the cool part about merged reality.
The best part of the project alloy is that you are completely untethered. There’s no need for a separate device, like a smartphone, that most VR headsets use. You don’t even need a powerful PC like the Oculus Rift does. All the required things are stuffed into the header and you’re good to go. The only downside I see here is the weight.
Even though it’s still in development phase, the headset is quite heavy. It’ll easily slip down from your comfortable eye level. The real world rendering of the VR world is cool, but it isn’t there yet! The sensor sometimes starts tripping and the overall vision you get is quite pixelated.
Intel is doing a fine job here. Even though there are a few screws that need to be tightened here and there, the project alloy opens up a door for an entirely different field of graphics rendering. You won’t get to see merged reality anywhere else, as of now. I hope that Intel sorts out the bugs and starts mass production soon. I’m pretty excited to see what the final market version of the alloy would look and function like, aren’t you? Microsoft seems to be involved as well here, so background infrastructure won’t be a problem I suppose!
So, what do you think about the Project Alloy? Are you going to be the first in line to get it when it’s out? Personally, I think the idea is a bit too raw as of now, especially compared to the already present VR giants like Oculus and HTC. But that is how great things always start out. They might seem crude at first, but will usually always start to catch up to everyone’s expectations.