Wednesday, 18 October 2017 00:35

AUSTRALIAN LAUNCH VIDEO: Windows 10 Fall Creators Update and Mixed Reality headsets now available Featured

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The latest version of Windows 10 can now be downloaded to Windows 10 PCs around the world, with a stack of new features, UI improvements, Cortana improvements, Mixed Reality headsets and more.

Windows Fall Creators Update is the new free Windows 10 update that has now being rolling out to what is now more than 500 million devices running Windows 10 worldwide.

Microsoft proudly boasts the new update is "filled with new features that empower the creator in all of us, and brings 3D and mixed reality to everyone".

If you do nothing, the update will notify you via Windows 10 that it is available to install, and it is usually wise to avoid rushing into any new update without first making online and offline back-ups, and without checking to see whether others have reported any issues.

However, if you do want to update right now, you can click a link at this Windows 10 page at Microsoft here

Embedded a couple of paragraphs below is the video I took at the Australian media launch of this new Fall Creators Windows 10 update, as well as vision of the Mixed Reality headsets in action – please take a look!

So, what are the main new features?

Photos Remix:

Photos Remix uses AI and deep learning to organise and transform your photo and video albums into stories. Select your photos and videos, drop in music, transitions and 3D effects. Click a button and voila – see a new edit of your album. You can also create mixed reality by adding animated 3D objects to your photos and videos to tell stories in a whole new way with special effects.

Windows Mixed Reality:

The magic of Windows Mixed Reality — where you can escape to the most immersive experiences — touring top travel destinations, getting inside the most exciting games, attending the most popular events, even travelling across time and space, right in your own home, with you at the centre of everything. And with quick, easy setup, and affordable devices build on the Fall Windows 10 Creators Update, this amazing new world is just minutes away.

Here's the Australian launch video of the new features and the headsets, the article continues below:

3D in Windows:

With 3D in Windows 10, everyone can experience and create amazing things in a new dimension. With the Fall Creators Update you have the most complete collection of 3D tools and resources available – everything you need to create, remix, and share in 3D. With the Fall Creators Update, you can: easily create and remix 3D objects, view your 3D creations in the real world, add 3D to Office files for visual impact and add 3D to photos and videos for fun and impact.

Windows works across your devices with Microsoft Fluent Design System:

  • Access your files in the cloud without using storage space on your device with OneDrive Files On-Demand. All your files can be seen in File Explorer and accessed on-demand whenever they are needed.
  • Log out of one device and Cortana asks if you want to continue working in your app, doc or website on your next device. Plus, you can copy and paste between connected devices from your clipboard.
  • The Microsoft Graph is an intelligent fabric that helps connect dots between people, conversations, projects, and content within the Microsoft Cloud – ensuring experiences flow seamlessly between Windows, iOS, and Android devices.

Key features helping to bring this to life include:

  • Timeline allows users to jump back in time with a visual timeline that displays what a user was doing previously and easily hop back into files, apps and websites as if it was real time.
  • With Cortana, you can pick up where you left off across Windows, iOS and Android devices.
  • Clipboard is a fast, easy way to copy and paste just about anything between connected devices by allowing to copying from the desktop and pasting on a phone.
  • OneDrive Files on Demand allows access to all files in the cloud without having to download them and use storage space on a specific device.

Microsoft also showcase several Mixed Reality headsets, although it didn't have what is arguably the very best Mixed Reality headset, the Samsung HMD Odyssey that you can read about in this iTWire article from a week or so ago. 

In addition, I've always thought of mixed reality as augmented reality, like a Hololens system that puts graphics on top of actual reality, but Microsoft uses the term Mixed Reality to emcompass both virtual reality (as the new Mixed Reality headsets deliver), and augmented reality, which is what HoloLens and Google Glass delivers, for example 

However Microsoft has announced that four Mixed Reality headsets are available in Australia at A$799, all of which have absolutely identical specs, with only a different exterior and colours to differentiate the models.

All headsets come with motion controllers, and there's one from Dell, Acer, HP and Lenovo, all are available from today, and all cost A$799.

Those identical specs are:

  • Two high-resolution liquid crystal displays at 1440 x 1440
  • 2.89” diagonal display size (x2)
  • Front hinged display, so you can flip the headset up while working
  • Up to 105 degrees horizontal field of view
  • Display refresh rate up to 90 Hz (native)
  • Built-in audio out and microphone support through 3.5mm jack
  • Single cable with HDMI 2.0 (display) and USB 3.0 (data) for connectivity
  • Inside-out tracking
  • 4.00m cable

Dell's Mixed Reality headset: 

HP's headset: 

Acer's Headset: 

Lenovo's headset: 

It's Samsung's headset, seen below, which is clearly better. It sells in the US for US$499, but presumably this will cost more than A$799 when it launches in Australia.

Microsoft has advised Samsung's superior headset won't be available in Australia or New Zealand, which is a great shame. You'll need to order one from the US if you really want one. 

That said, the Dell unit I used in the embedded video above worked just fine.

The Samsung specs are here:  

Samsung HMD Odyssey Headset – US $499 - NOT AVAILABLE AT RETAIL IN AUSTRALIA OR NZ, sadly. 

  • Display: Dual 3.5-inch AMOLED displays, 1440 x 1600 @ 90/60Hz
  • Interface: HDMI 2.0 + USB 3.0 with 4.00m cable
  • Lens: Single Fresnel Lens
  • Field of view: 110 degree field of view
  • Camera: 6 Degrees of Freedom camera x 2
  • Sensor: Accelerometer (6 axis), Gyrometer (6 axis), Compass (3 axis), Proximity Sensor, IPD Sensor
  • Accoustics: 2 MIC support, Cortana, Built-in AKG Headphone
  • Control and function: Volume, IPD adjustment
  • Weight: 645g

Here's the Microsoft Mixed Reality video:

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The Details

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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