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New VR and MR Hardware Unveiled at Microsoft Build 2017

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Microsoft announces Windows Mixed Reality Dev Kit and world’s first MR motion controllers with no markers required at #MSBuild2017 

Microsoft is looking to expand its Mixed Reality offering with new hardware and tools Click To Tweet

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update demoed today at the Build Developers Conference in Seattle focuses on the concept of Fluent Design which wants to bring Mixed Reality to consumers around the world.

Using just the sensors in the headset, the motion controllers offer responsive movement tracking Click To Tweet

We’ll go deeper into what those features look like in our Day 2 update – but we were so excited about the freshly unveiled VR and MR hardware that we thought it deserved an update all of its own.

“We are working with developers to create this new frontier in computing and want any developer to get a Windows Mixed Reality dev kit.”

From today, developers in the US and Canada will be able to pre-order an Acer ($299) or HP ($329) headset from the Microsoft Store for delivery later this summer.

Microsoft unveiled Mixed Reality motion controllers that don't need physical markers in the room Click To Tweet

They also introduced the world’s first Windows Mixed Reality motion controllers which does not require markers. This means that – unlike a headset like the HTC Vive where you have to set several sensors around the room to allow the headset to accurately map where you are in relation to the VR/MR elements. The motion controllers offer precise and responsive tracking of movement in your field of view using just the sensors in your headset.

“A customer who pairs a Windows Mixed Reality headset with motion controllers will have a rich and immersive experience across creativity tools, productivity, games, and entertainment. There is no need to install hardware on the walls around you. We created the controllers as a high quality and comfortable input device with the same ease of set up and portability as our headsets. “

The plan is to have a consumer-ready version ready for the 2017 holiday season

“We are keeping our promise to deliver a new mixed reality experience for everyone at an affordable price point. Today we announced Acer will sell a Windows Mixed Reality headset and motion controller bundle priced at $399 this holiday.”

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Alice Bonasio is a VR and Digital Transformation Consultant and Tech Trends’ Editor in Chief. She also regularly writes for Fast Company, Ars Technica, Quartz, Wired and others. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow @alicebonasio on Twitter.