Source: Google

Intel, the chip making giant, has shown off a headset that can replace the pre-scanned furniture of the room with more appropriate video game scenery in Virtual Reality. The capabilities of Project Alloy headset of the firm, which is currently in development, were demoed by the chip making giant at the CES tech show in Las Vegas.

Intel’s “Merged Reality”

The Chip making giant is planning to license the tech to manufacturers by the end of 2017, said Brain Krzanich, the Chief executive officer of the Chip maker. However, one analyst said virtual reality is still a hard market to target. The CEO noted while introducing the most recent prototype that the headset does not need a connection or a separate personal computer to a power source as both the battery and the computer are built in.

On stage, two players in a fake living room demonstrated how the VR headset could create a virtual replica of the room featuring scanned problems like furniture, electronics, etc. According to the chip maker, it is merged reality. Then, the coffee table and bookcases were replaced in the demo digitally by same-sized scenery more suited to the game: a futuristic spaceship.

Last year, Project Alloy was first revealed in August; however, this was its most advanced demo yet. Brian Blau, tech analyst at Gartner said it was clearly interesting. Blau had praised the freedom offered by an “all-in-one” headset without a cable as well. But the tech analyst said it would have been even more interesting if the living room had been scanned by the headset itself.

He said, “They did say [the room] was pre-scanned, so I was a little bit disappointed by that.”

Intel will not manufacture the device

The VR headset will not be manufactured by the chip making giant but rather it will provide the technology to other firms to create the products. The chip making giant is hoping that this process will start in the final quarter of this year. However, the success of the project will depend on other firms being willing to make content for it.

Mr. Blau said that they can enable all kinds of stuff “but if it is not for the rest of those pieces they will just have the parts out there.”

The chip maker showed off several other uses of the VR headsets as well, such as 360-degree HD video captured at a waterfall in Vietnam. The use of volumetric data, according to Mr. Blau, was impressive. Volumetric video allows viewers to peer around objects as if they were actually present in the captured scene. He added that it is something that they would not really see en masse for a long period of time due to its heavy data requirements. It is not just Intel that is focusing on developing VR headset technology. For instance, Nvidia is working on processors and software to power computing-intensive experiences. A presentation at the trade show by the Consumer Technology Association showed that the unit sale of VR headsets in the United States is predicted to reach 2.5 million in 2017.