Asus today took the wraps off its first Windows Mixed Reality compatible headset at IFA 2017. The device joins the existing fleet of other headsets being launched as part of Microsoft’s new plans to democratize the use of VR and AR. Therefore, these products won’t require any additional sensors or configuration and will follow a plug and play approach.
Asus’ new headset, however, is designed to put comfort and hygiene before anything else. For starters, it comes with a polygonal 3D cover panel to the front and a balanced-crown structure to minimize the pressure on your nose and face. This will essentially allow you to spend more time in a single session without becoming uncomfortable after minutes of use. It also weighs merely 400 grams and is coated with antibacterial cushioned materials to ensure that the sweat doesn’t affect your health.
Similar to most other Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Asus has also utilized an inside-out tracking mechanism that draws data from the two integrated front-facing cameras. Both of these offer six-degrees-of-freedom positional tracking, have a total 3K resolution and don’t require any external sensors or software in the process.
Windows Mixed Reality currently is capable of running most of the high-end VR experiences you can find on premium headsets such as the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Furthermore, Microsoft has recently added SteamVR support which should act as a significant catalyst for gamers. Asus’ headset will be available later this year at 449 Euros ($535) which is a lot higher when we compare it to Dell’s offering which is priced at $349.99.
“We are excited about our collaboration with Asus to deliver a Windows Mixed Reality headset, unlocking amazing content experiences on an affordable and easy-to-set-up device,” Peter Han, Microsoft’s vice president of Partner Devices and Solutions, said in a statement. “Windows Mixed Reality, paired with Asus design and materials, enables a comfortable and fun experience for customers to achieve more and let their imagination wander.”