Oculus Home and the new SteamVR Home offer cosy spaces to launch into your VR experiences, so why should we expect Microsoft to offer anything less? The company’s upcoming mixed reality headsets will offer their very own home space, and we recently got a better look at it.
The company’s Nadia Steer-Mobley introduced the home area to an audience at the WinHEC event in Taipei last month.
“Windows Mixed Reality begins with a home,” she explained. “This home is beyond a menu or a lobby; this is the place for you to personalize, it’s a place for you to explore, it’s a place to interact with mixed reality experiences.”
Home is made up of several rooms including offices, outdoor areas and the rooftop. “It actually is a digital representation of what we’d like you to think is your new home in Windows,” Steer-Mobley said.
What really seperates this home from other versions, though, is 2D app integration. With HoloLens, Microsoft envisions a world in which users have virtual screens showing up in specific locations around their houses. These VR headsets are set to mimic that future today; you might pin a web browser to the wall of your living room, for example, and then have a game running off to the right of it.
The idea is to simulate multi-tasking like you would be able to do with multiple PCs on just one device; watch a video on how to solve a specific puzzle and then flick your head sideways and do it yourself. The space also includes a virtual theater.
“Space in your home is not a premium,” Steer-Mobley explained. “In other words you can make an application as large as you want.”
The space itself will have its own character, though. Microsoft is designing this as a place to really lose yourself in, with gorgeous scenery and an ocean off in the background. Later on the talk Steer-Mobley also gave us a look at how you set up these headsets.
All-in-all it looks like Microsoft wants you to spend more time inside its version of the home area than you might in the Oculus and Vive alternatives. We’ll find out just how long we’ll really spend inside them when the begin to release this holiday season.