Intel is cutting plans for its Project Alloy ‘merged reality’ headset

Vjeran Pavic

Intel is discontinuing plans to release a reference version of its Project Alloy “merged reality” headset. Road to VR reported the news today, saying that Intel made its decision over the summer based on a lack of interest from partners. In a statement, Intel said it had chosen to “wind down its Project Alloy reference design,” but would continue to invest in augmented and virtual reality technology, including RealSense depth sensing and WiGig-based wireless headset systems. Previously, it said that it would “productize” Alloy with partners by the end of 2017.

Road to VR speculates that Intel and partners may have had trouble making Alloy small and long-lasting enough to work as a viable self-contained VR headset. It also notes that manufacturers may have decided to focus on Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality headsets at the expense of Intel’s design. Despite the similarity between the names “mixed reality” and “merged reality,” current Windows Mixed Reality headsets are actually much simpler than Alloy. They’re wired virtual reality headsets with inside-out tracking capabilities, compared to an all-in-one design that could scan real-world objects and mix them with virtual environments.

It’s never really been clear how people would use Alloy, or what the final system would look like. When we last tried it at CES, it was promising but clunky, with inside-out tracking that was less smooth than Microsoft’s current Mixed Reality headsets. “Project Alloy served as a great proof of concept for Intel and the industry — showing what’s possible in a high-performance, immersive and untethered VR experience,” Intel says. “What we’ve learned through Project Alloy will inform future efforts.” Intel has a lot to contribute to the worlds of computer vision, visual processing, and other areas of VR and AR. But with so many companies working on individual headset designs, putting a full system out the door may simply not have made sense.

Comments

Intel is staggering from one "hot" area of tech to another. It was wearables a year or two ago, then VR/AR.

And that explains why their long term is of serious concern. ARM wiped the floor with them on mobile. Desktop/PC market is slowly declining. Big cloud players experimenting/implementing custom chips, and intel seems to be far behind on AI/GPU too.

thats a decent summary of where things are.
Also, Intel bought mobile eye for $15b in an attempt to get into self driving car business

Intel and self-driving cars is a complete mystery to me. That was either a really stupid idea, or they are planning something ingenious. Given how many pet projects they’ve shut down over the last couple years, I’m guessing it’s the former.

I would very much agree. Intel is trying to grab that edgy, youthful Silicon Valley spotlight while also trying to look as relevant as possible in all the wrong wheelhouses.

Set top box tvs, antivirus, VR, self driving cars…

Maybe they should stick to their proven strengths, that is, designing and manufacturing processors and maybe SSDs.

The day Microsoft gets Windows on ARM right, is the day to stick a fork in Intel.

fantasy world.

windows on arm is coming in nov- with directx / win32 support. whether they will get that right is a different story

Intel’s removal from "Wintel" won’t happen that quickly. For one thing, Windows on ARM is, so far, focused on mobile devices, and Microsoft’s only relevant mobile device is the Surface line. Not an insignificant thing, but the Surface line is an Intel-powered product. Microsoft would, I think, have to have a completely rethought OS for it to work on ARM and still have more features than iOS or Android and be better as a laptop replacement, that also happens to get iPad- or Macbook-like battery life.

What would really scare Intel is an ARM-powered laptop running a home version of Windows 10 with full app compatibility, sporting equivalent or even lower specs (RAM and video, mostly) than a typical Wintel unit, while having roughly equal performance in everyday and some moderately heavy workloads, AND getting lots of untethered battery time, in a really attractive and well-built package that is cheaper than similar alternatives.

Methinks that product is a ways away still, and again we end up at Surface. But Intel’s position is surely under heavier attack than perhaps ever. They will probably fall from grace at some point, but it will not be over night, in the Apple-Imagination Tech sort of way.

Considering they can do all that now, I don’t think it is too far off, they a more powerful chip though, like the new A11.

They may not get it right now. But over time I expect it to get better and better

Intel corporate ADHD is starting to look like Googles.

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