Slowly but certainly, Intel is unveiling its “Merged Reality” strategy. About a year and a half ago, Intel invested in Razer bringing the valuation of the said company to north of $1 billion. Exactly a year ago, that investment expanded with the launch of Open Source Virtual Reality or OSVR. Today, Razer is bringing Hacker Development Kit 2.0 to the market, and Intel announced their first lovechild codenamed Project Alloy.
Project Alloy is best described as a VR Headset in the class of HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, but with the ability to “cut the VR cord”, since it features mobile processing similar to the one used on Microsoft’s HoloLens.
Intel claims to bring room scale VR and “global VR” without the need for external sensors such as HTC’s Lighthouse or Oculus Constellation. Intel’s RealSense technology is being used with several cameras tracking the real world as you move through it. RealSense is also used as the controller for the said device. Just like HoloLens, Project Alloy lets you use your own fingers and hands to control the virtual environment. This part Intel love to call “merging realities”.
Perhaps the most impressive part is how quickly Project Alloy is going to arrive on market. We quote the official press release below:
“Available to make your own: The Alloy HMD is an example of how Intel’s suite of sensing and computing technologies, such as Intel RealSense technology, are being made available to developers, makers and inventors to deliver the future of immersive experiences. Additionally, Intel is collaborating with Microsoft to optimize Windows-based content and experiences on Intel-based VR devices such as Alloy.
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.”