Intel reveals Project Alloy all-in-one VR headset

17 Aug 2016

Intel’s Craig Raymond displays the Project Alloy VR headset during Intel Developer Forum. Image via Intel Corporation

Intel has revealed a new virtual reality (VR) headset that promises to have all of the tech in one device with no wires or attachments, unlike its competitors.

Despite Oculus Rift and HTC’s Vive already hitting the market after years of development, Intel now feels it’s the time to make a move into the VR headset realm with its latest project, dubbed Project Alloy.

In an attempt to distinguish it from its competitors, Intel took to the stage at its recent developers forum to say that the Project Alloy headset will be an all-in-one device.

This means that all of the tech typically spread over a number of devices – such as the sensors, camera and human-input controls – will be located entirely within the headset.

What this will mean for performance and capability remains to be seen as current VR headsets are tethered to a PC because it acts as the processing hub, allowing for a smoother experience with a higher frame rate.

Based on what Intel’s CEO, Brian Krzanich, had to say in a blog post about Project Alloy, it appears that it will not reach the capabilities of the highest end of gaming.

Partnering with Microsoft

“The most aggressive, high-end gamers who value the low latency of tethered systems will continue to enjoy those systems, and their systems will continue to advance and improve,” he said.

“But for the rest of us, we now have the choice to experience our virtual worlds across larger spaces without pesky cords.”

Powering the Project Alloy headset is Intel’s RealSense 1080p camera technology, which uses infrared and lasers to determine another person’s location in front of the user.

It also means that your hands play a part in the VR space as opposed to using another handheld controller to interact with objects.

Another bit of news to come from the event was that Intel is partnering with Microsoft to bring the latter’s Windows Holographic operating system to Project Alloy, allowing developers to create games on this platform.

As for when we’re likely to see the first Project Alloy headset, Intel has said it will arrive sometime in the latter half of 2017.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic