Lenovo’s MR Headset Will Be out in Time for Christmas Confirms Microsoft

Microsoft confirmed the scheduling at Unite Europe 2017.

Yesterday Unity Technologies began its Unite Europe 2017 with an opening keynote revolved around the next version of its middleware development engine Unity 2017. The keynote was devoid of any virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) mentions, but with the main conference now underway new details are emerging. During an early session Microsoft has confirmed that Lenovo’s mixed reality (MR) headset will be coming out towards the end of the year.

It was already known that the head-mounted display would see a launch in 2017, with VRFocus previously reporting that it could be arriving in August. That date has now slipped it seems as Microsoft’s Brandon Bray, Principal Program Manager, has said during a talk titled ‘Mixed Reality and the Next Evolution in Human Computer Interaction’, that Lenovo’s headset will be arriving ‘this holiday’ (meaning Christmas).

Mixed Reality foundations difference between HoloLens and MR Devices

During the session the Bray discussed some of the differences between the upcoming MR headsets for consumers and Microsoft’s well known device, HoloLens, with is currently only available for enterprise. As you can see from the image above, the two devices will have a lot in common with main difference being user input.

While HoloLens has gesture control – being able to pinch items to select for example – the MR HMDs from companies like Lenovo and Acer will purely use the motion controllers Microsoft unveiled in May.

Unlike companies such as Oculus/Facebook and HTC Vive which are putting more of their efforts into VR, Microsoft has stayed firmly focused on MR. Bray reiterated this by saying: “Mixed reality, for us, is really a generational shift in computing… Today is really the mobile generation, but holographic will be the next generation.”

The latter half of 2017 going into 2018 looks set to be an interesting time for the VR/AR and MR industry. Not only do you have Microsoft’s MR devices coming out from several manufacturers but HTC is keeping the pressure on with its recent collaboration with Google on a standalone HMD that’ll be cable free.

VRFocus will continue its coverage of Microsoft, Lenovo and all the latest headset news, so come back for further updates.

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