Microsoft’s Garage project has made spaces around the world available to their employees where they can go hands on with specialised hardware, such as 3D printers, and create and experiment in their own time. Now, the Garage is getting expanded with Reality Rooms, where employees can experiment with the latest augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) hardware and software.
Microsoft have already shown their dedication to the new technology with its Windows Mixed Reality platform, and the Reality Rooms will now ensure the best possible experience for users as employees get more hands on time with the applications, and develop their own ideas for refinements and programs of the future.
It’s required an expansion of staff and a dedication of space in many locations, but now they run workshops, talks and drop-in office hours to support their employees in their adventure through the worlds of VR, MR and AR.
Microsoft report that even early in the project’s life they had employees that found the hands-on time with the technology incredibly useful, and came away with ideas for new projects.
With a modern, futuristic design envisioned by Mike Pell, the Reality Rooms truly look like a place where you experiment with the technology of the future. There’s an open play space where users can interact with one another, where dark, custom lighting help with eye fatigue during long sessions.
Users can even view the actions of others in the virtual world with the Microsoft HoloLens, bringing yet another interesting aspect of mixed realities into even the spectator experience.
You can see more from the video below, where users play with HTC Vive head-mounted displays (HMDs) and software in a green screen backed room which can overlay the virtual world on it, making it even easier for users and spectators to see what virtual reality is really like.
A variety of employees give their testimonials as to their impressions of the Reality Rooms and how it will assist their ideas and work in the future. You can read all about it on Microsoft’s website.
By all means, it sounds promising, and we hope to see some results in the form of HoloLens or Windows Mixed Reality applications in the future. When that happens, you’ll read about it on VRFocus.