Microsoft and Intel have come together in a new "Wintel" collaboration. Project Evo is described as an initiative to improve how PCs think see and hear and will enhance "mixed reality" experiences.
Project Evo was among the announcements made at Microsoft's Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) in Shenzen, China and reinforces a message delivered in June that Microsoft wants to make Windows 10 an important platform for mixed reality.
Intel unveiled its own "merged" reality VR headset, Project Alloy, in August 2016. While this could be seen as a competitor to the Microsoft HoloLens, as we reported then Intel is instead collaborating with Microsoft to make mixed reality mainstream in 2017.
According to Terry Myerson:
With Project Evo, Microsoft and Intel will deliver all-new ways for devices to light up with the latest in advanced security, artificial intelligence and Cortana, mixed reality, and gaming. Through this collaboration, devices of the future will leverage Microsoft and Intel innovations including:
Far-field speech communications so you can ask Cortana a question or play a song from across the room.
The latest security capabilities to protect devices from malware and hacking threats, advances in biometric authentication with Windows Hello, sophisticated insights from Microsoft’s Intelligent Security Graph, additional world-class security intelligence, and analytics from Intel.
Mixed reality experiences for everyone through affordable PCs and head mounted displays (HMDs) that blend the physical and virtual realities in ways that no other platform can.
Gaming innovations like eSports, game broadcasting and support for 4K, High Dynamic Range (HDR), Wide Color Gamut (WCG), spatial audio, and Xbox controllers with native Bluetooth.
The following specific announcements were made at WinHEC:
Microsoft has submitted Microsoft HoloLens for government approval in China with a view to making it available to developers and commercial customers in China in the first half of 2017.
It shared specifications co-developed with Intel for PCs that will power the first headsets capable of mixed reality. HMDs from Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, and Lenovo will be available next year.
Joining those partners, 3Glasses, the leading China-based hardware developer for HMDs, will bring the Windows 10 experience to their S1 device in the first half of 2017, reaching more than 5 million monthly active customers in China who will gain access to:
More than 20,000 universal Windows apps in the catalog
3D objects from the web using Microsoft Edge to drag and drop into their physical world
Immersive WebVR content via Microsoft Edge
360 degree videos available for the first time in the Movies & TV app
HMD developer kits will become available to developers at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, taking place at the end of February, 2017.