Intel’s keynote at CES 2017 would be remembered as one of the more underwhelming ones; just like the 7th generation processors, they released for PCs this past week.
However, there was one thing that caught everyone’s eye: Project Alloy.
Intel showcased Project Alloy back in August of 2016; it’s a mixed reality headset that’s completely self-contained – it has a processor and uses Intel’s integrated graphics. There’s a pair of Intel’s RealSense cameras on the front, which Intel uses to figure out the headset’s place in the real world.
It sounds very much like HoloLens – and it is. The HoloLens and Project Alloy share many similarities, but there are a few differences: HoloLens is an actual product that developers and enterprise customers can purchase, while Intel’s Project Alloy is merely a prototype.
Project Alloy also doesn’t try to invent a freaky transparent display – it’s using a normal display, and simply utilizes its RealSense cameras to project the real environment onto the virtual canvas.
At the CES keynote, Intel announced that it would be licensing all of the technological breakthroughs it has achieved with Project Alloy.
In essence, this means that folks like Lenovo who are busy building their own prototypes can borrow some of the work Intel has done, for a price.
That’s nice of Intel, but at the end of the day; the decision to use Intel’s tech remains with the OEMs. Specifically, OEM’s who are now relying on Microsoft’s ambitions with Windows Holographic.
That’s the important bit: Microsoft. VR is supposed to be one of the biggest technological breakthroughs of 2017.
If Microsoft has its way, we will all have an affordable and modestly decent VR headset on our heads – watching a movie in a virtual theater while chugging a big belly burger from the comfort of our sofas.
Intel’s Project Alloy could play a major role in that, but it most likely won’t. That’s what makes this year’s keynote underwhelming.