Intel Project Alloy Delivers Augmented Reality in VR Headset Through RealSense

Omar Sohail
Posted Aug 18, 2016
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Intel announced its Project Alloy, which in a nutshell, is a VR headset that delivers augmented reality without any strings attached. The headset will employ the company’s RealSense technology and here’s how it will work.

Project Alloy Will Still Need a PC for Data Transmission – RealSense Cameras to Provide All the Necessary Magic

Intel’s intentions to market a VR headset that delivers augmented reality without the use of wires was demonstrated at the annual IDF keynote. Project Alloy will employ the use of Intel’s RealSense camera tech to monitor location and positions of other inanimate objects surrounding them. Intel has stated that there is a SoC present inside its headset, but made no details concerning which model.

We are under the assumption that the chipset will be one sporting a TDP of around 5 watts, otherwise more heat generated will definitely cause a discomforting experience for users. Microsoft’s HoloLens uses Intel’s Cherry Trail chipsets, so it’s highly possible that this being a product of Intel will feature an Apollo Lake SoC.

The system requirements of Project Alloy will naturally require you to have a Windows PC with the Windows Holographic Platform installed, which is expected to arrive on Windows 10 PC next year thanks to the slew of updates that Microsoft will be rolling out. The first iteration of Project Alloy will be given to Intel’s partners during the month of December and the hardware will become open sourced during the second half of 2017. Given below are all the details Intel summarized regarding Project Alloy.

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.

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