Dell is finally ready to show you Microsoft's mixed reality vision. The electronics maker has started taking pre-orders for its $350 Windows Mixed Reality headset called Visor, which it showcased at IFA this year. Visor is one of the fruits of Redmond's partnerships with several manufacturers, including Acer and Asus, in an effort to release AR-and-VR devices much, much more affordable than its $3,000 HoloLens. It boasts 1,440 x 1,440 in resolution per 2.89-inch LCD panel for each eye, a 110 degrees field of view, a 360 panoramic view and a 90Hz refresh rate. The headset also flips upwards for convenient transitions from reality to mixed reality -- just lower it down when you want to use it.
You won't need HoloLens or some other special headset to experience mixed reality in the classroom. Microsoft is preparing View Mixed Reality, a built-in viewer for Windows 10 that will make it easy to see virtual 3D objects (created in 3D Paint) in the real world. All you need is a PC with a webcam -- preferably rear-facing, of course. If teachers want to show you the relative size of a Mars rover, they just have to load the viewer and give you a look. View Mixed Reality will be available sometime this fall, and it can also be used on Windows Mixed Reality hardware arriving in a similar timeframe.
Hardware doesn't really have an "Early Access" period per se, the way games often do nowadays, but I've put off writing about Microsoft's Mixed Reality headsets for essentially that reason. A half-dozen headsets emerged last October with few games and even less fanfare. To make matters worse, they were locked to the Windows 10 Store at launch, making it particularly unattractive to those who'd already amassed a sizable amount of VR content on Steam. That sin wasn't rectified until December when Microsoft added rudimentary SteamVR support--in beta. And it wasn't officially rectified until about a week ago, when Windows 10's April 2018 Update coincided with SteamVR-on-Mixed-Reality getting the 1.0 seal of approval.