VR and AR can both still be considered experimental technologies, so Microsoft is letting its employees experiment with them.
This month the company’s Garage division revealed what it calls Reality Rooms. These spaces, located at the company’s Garage sites, are designed for Microsoft employees to come in and play around with the latest augmented and virtual reality hardware, be it the HTC Vive, Microsoft’s own ‘Mixed Reality’ VR headsets, or even the HoloLens development kit. You can check out one of the rooms in the video below.
The space isn’t just a well-equipped VR hub, though; Reality Rooms will offer talks and workshops that will help employees truly get to grips with these new technologies. These sessions will involve hands-on experiences writing code and getting a look at the latest content. It’s kitted out with surround sound speakers and custom lighting to give the space a sci-fi feel, while the center of the room serves as a play space for multiple people. There’s also green screen motion capture and even the ability to project HoloLens experiences onto nearby screens outside the room.
It may not be a public space, but these Reality Rooms are tools that developers can use to create the next great wave of VR content. It’s not the only futuristic initiative from Microsoft; the company’s volumetric capture labs are also pioneering photogrammetry techniques for use in VR and AR experiences too.