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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Intel’s Project Alloy takes a step into “merged reality”

Our good friend Philip Michaels, writing for Tom’s Guide, breaks down what’s new and interesting about Intel’s Project Alloy announcement:

Intel hopes to cut the cord with Project Alloy, the wireless virtual reality headset unveiled today (August 16) at IDF. Billed as an all-in-one virtual reality product, Project Alloy will become available to hardware makers in the second half of 2017 when Intel opens up the hardware platform along with APIs for the RealSense technology that eliminates the need for external sensors to create a VR world.

A self-contained VR headset would be welcomed enthusiastically by anyone who’s ever found themselves tripping over the cord that connects them to a supporting PC, spent time setting up external sensors or struggled to find an open area to enjoy VR to its fullest. But that’s only part of the vision Krzanich outlined today. The company is using its Project Alloy headset to push the idea of merged reality, where the physical world interacts seamlessly with the virtual one and the only controls you need are your very own hands.

So we now have virtual, augmented, and merged realities. In addition to real reality.

Project Alloy does look interesting, especially in the fact that it’s self-contained, like Microsoft’s Holo Lens. But yet one more headset? There are so many competing devices right now, it’s a tough field to enter into. Teaming up with Microsoft and adding some degree of interoperability with the Holo Lens certainly makes such a device more compelling, and its features are ambitious, but this strikes me as Intel trying to get its game back after losing out during the mobile era.