Intel has announce today that it is releasing its own headset, Project Alloy, by next year. In addition Intel reportedly is opening up a new VR dedicated studio in L.A. Intel is the major producer of the best CPUs and hopefully can take advantage of that to bring us a headset from beyond our time.
The announced Project Alloy will be completely wireless and run on a battery. So far Project Alloy will be the first major headset that runs without wire. The battery's life has not been announced but since it most likely can't do much processing on 10V the headset's only job would be to display an image and give feedback. This means that while a nearby computer would still be required to run the headset, the battery would last a lot longer this way without needing charge.
The headset will combine augmented reality with virtual reality to create a so called "mixed reality" that Intel is advertising. The headset will be able to track your fingers and to let you see the real world while in the virtual one. This will allow for unique interaction between the virtual world and the real one. In addition this would help with bumping into other people or walls as this is a major problem with VR at the moment.
The headset will be open source which means that software developers and headset designers will be able to look at and use the technology used in Project Alloy for their own headsets. This will allow headsets to take advantage of all the technology developed by Intel.
Intel's new alleged VR studio will work with software developers to help make Intel hardware compatible with their software. Intel has partnered with Microsoft to create the Windows Holographic Program which will come to all and only Windows 10 PCs next year.
The major negative of Project Alloy is that Windows 10 is required to be able to run the headset, and for no good reason. There is nothing special about Windows 10 that makes it able to run Virtual Reality more easily than other Windows such as Windows 7. However Microsoft seemingly has an obsession with getting all its users on Windows 10 and will hold features ransom. Just like how Minecraft VR will only run on Windows 10. Those of us who completely disagree with the way Windows 10 is run (but we won't talk about that now, this is a VR website not a Windows website) will either have to give into Windows 10 or be satisfied with the non-Intel solutions.
Even if the headset is limited to only Windows 10 users this step up in the technological ability of VR will inspire other companies to create their own wireless, mixed reality headsets. The technology behind VR is getting more and more advanced every day.