Intel shared its merged reality vision at the IDF in San Francisco and reaveled Project Alloy, a product it claims is world's first untethered VR headset. Unlike the Oculus Rift and other products currently available on the market, Project Alloy does not need to be connected to a PC or a console, it removes the need for controls and is battery-powered.
Project Alloy features integrated Intel RealSense cameras that map the environment you're in, with full-depth sensing, and allows you to interact with the virtual environment using your hands and real-world objects. Intel said it plans to open source the Project Alloy hardware platform in the second half of 2017, this will enable partners to commercialize the product.
Alloy delivers a set of new and immersive experiences thanks to Intel’s RealSense technologies that are optimized for VR usages. These include:
Go untethered: Operate without pesky cords dangling from your VR headset connecting to the computer. The computing power is located in the Alloy Head-Mounted Device (HMD), which allows the user to experience VR untethered. That means you can “cut the VR cord,” allowing a free range of motion with 6 degrees-of-freedom across a large space. This, combined with collision detection and avoidance, enables the user to utilize physical movement to explore a virtual space.
Immersive experience: Through merged reality, see your hands, see your friends … see the wall you are about to run into. Using Intel RealSense technology, not only can you see these elements from the real world, but you can use your hands to interact with elements of your virtual world, merging realities.
No external sensors: Alloy’s merged reality is made possible by Intel RealSense cameras attached to the headset and is not dependent on setting up any external sensors or cameras around the room.
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.
Here's a video from the IDF demonstration:
And here's an idealized version of how Intel envisions its merged reality: