ACER HAS started selling its mixed reality headsets to developers at the promised ridiculously reasonable price.
The headset we tested in prototype last month is available to anyone looking to build content for it, for $300 a squirt. It had been made available in private beta to some devs back in April but now it's in the Microsoft Store.
It's the first of four companies products to come from a partnership with Microsoft to build mixed reality devices for the Creators' Update.
HP's is also on the way, but Acer has been quick out of the blocks with a remarkably competitively priced realisation of Windows Holographic, the part of Windows which Hololens will also run on once it arrives.
The difference is one costs $3000, the other $300.
The demo we were given concentrated on how the virtual and physical worlds could interact, and although it was clunky, it allowed for everything from 360 movies to placing objects into our "real" environment from a library.
Paint 3D has been added specifically for the purpose of merging the two worlds, and Skype will soon see you able to appear in the same virtual ‘holodeck' as your Skype.
There is a catch, which is there's a ruddy great cable attached to your laptop, but the specs are still impressive.
It has a refresh rate of up to 90Hz (compare that to 50Hz for a standard UK TV picture), it has an HDMI 2.0, USB 3.1A, Headphone jack, Mic jack, Displayport 1.2 and comes with a 13 foot (thats about 4 metres in real numbers) cable that combines the HDMI to the USB-C.
Now. You. You want one, right? You'll need a high-end lappy. We mean like seriously. We're talking Intel Core i7 with at least 6 cores or an AMD Ryzen 8 1700 if you're the esoteric type.
You'll need Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 or 1060, or AMD Radeon RX480 (or something as good).
You'll need at least 16GB of RAM. You'll need at least 10GB of storage.
Now, here comes the science bit (if the last bit wasn't sciencey enough).
You'll need an HDMI IN of either 1.4 (which will give you 60Hz refresh) or 2.0 (90Hz). A Displayport 1.2 will do instead, with some adapters.
You will need a USB-C port with USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A (which thankfully is all USB-C ports). You need Bluetooth 4.0+. You need to be running the latest Developer Mode edition of Windows 10 Creators' Update.
Got all that? Well then, off you pop then. µ
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