Microsoft Corporation is following through on its efforts to expand into the virtual reality market. The firm is reported to be working on a mobile virtual reality tool much like Google’s Cardboard. Google Inc has already set the bar for low-cost VR experiences with this venture. Now Microsoft seeks to rival the search giant with its own small virtual reality box called the VR Kit.
When thinking of Microsoft and virtual reality, most people would consider the firm’s HoloLens. The entity refers to the headset as a “mixed reality” device and not a virtual reality tool though. This suggests that it uses a combination of actual and virtual components to produce new visuals. Regardless, it is currently Microsoft’s most prominent VR endeavor. Microsoft’s HoloLens AR head-mounted display is “really a five-year journey,” Satya Nadella announced during Salesforce’s Dreamforce customer conference earlier this month. Microsoft isn’t rushing HoloLens to market as they plan to roll out and test the HoloLens in various industries before introducing it into the consumer space.
The HoloLens and the newly announced VR Kit seem to be unrelated. But some consider the kit to be Microsoft’s attempt at throwing weight behind the HoloLens.
Microsoft Wants Ideas for VR Kit
Microsoft wishes to draw innovators to expand on its VR kit idea. The firm is holding a hackathon in Russia. Here developers will be given the chance to partake in the device’s growth by building an app for the VR Kit. The event will take place on the 17th of October. The winning candidates will be given their own VR Kit so they may be able to further their idea. The hackathon will involve three winner categories. Participants can expect to win by providing the best gaming, educational, or corporate uses for the kit.
VR Kit is Simple
Consumers shouldn’t expect to be very impressed initially. One should not expect too much from a cardboard box marketed as a virtual reality tool. Right now, the VR kit does not appear to be anything too impressive. Its assembly requires the user to simply place their Lumia smartphone into a cardboard box. By using apps developed at the hackathon (and other sources, supposedly), the user will be able to undergo a VR experience when holding the kit to their face.
Google’s Cardboard is just as fascinating as it sounds as well. There are already multiple Android apps that let you explore VR environments. It works with any Android device. Google also gives detailed, quick and easy instruction on how users can create their own cardboard cases. There are also cases ready for purchase for those with no confidence in their creativity skills.
Those interested in the hackathon can enter here.