Microsoft And Intel Push Project EVO For ‘Merged Reality’ Experiences, Windows 10 VR Min Specs Published

With Microsoft embracing Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor with Windows 10, it would be easy to surmise that Intel was losing favor with the software giant. However, that isn’t the case at all. Microsoft and Intel still have a very close working relationship, as witnessed by today’s announcement from the pair concerning Project EVO, which is an effort to bring “merged reality” to the masses.

Project EVO is an effort to push the PC platform into the future using a combination of head mounted displays (HMDs), artificial intelligence (AI), security, voice integration, gaming and mixed/virtual reality. “We are harnessing our collective innovation to showcase what is uniquely possible with the PC and, together, set the course for the future,” said Intel’s Navin Shenoy. “We believe that computing must evolve to become capable of even more unbelievable things.

“Through this work, our OEM partners and device vendors can focus on innovation, trusting their products will deliver reliable and compelling merged reality experiences. Similarly, developers can optimize for known hardware configurations, bringing them greater scale and reduced complexity.”

Intel and Microsoft plan to accomplish goals set forth with EVO by combing far-field speech recognition and AI routines to improve voice recognition on Windows 10 PCs. As a result, you’ll be able to speak to your PC to have it wake up or shut down by invoking the “Hey Cortana” command. Security is being enhanced thanks to the use of Windows Hello and Intel Authenticate, and Intel of course is pushing gaming performance through the use of sixth- and seventh-generation Core processors.

windows10 vr

All of these components together bring “immersive merged reality experiences into the mainstream,” blending both the virtual and physical worlds together using affordable PC platforms.

Moving on to more basic VR experiences, Microsoft leaked a rather barebones set of minimum PC requirements to run the Windows Holographic shell in Windows 10. But now that WinHEC 2016 is in full swing, Microsoft has revealed the full specs rundown for those looking to use Windows 10 VR headsets. Here’s what you’ll need at the bare minimum according to Microsoft:

  • CPU: Intel Mobile Core i5 (e.g. 7200U) Dual-Core with Hyperthreading equivalent
  • GPU: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 (GT2) equivalent or greater DX12 API Capable GPU
  • RAM: 8GB+ Dual Channel required for integrated Graphics
  • HDMI: HDMI 1.4 with 2880x1440 @ 60 Hz or HDMI 2.0 or DP 1.3+ with 2880x1440 @ 90 Hz
  • HDD:100GB+ SSD (Preferred) / HDD
  • USB: USB 3.0 Type-A or USB 3.1 Type-C Port with DisplayPort Alternate Mode
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0 for accessories

Given that these headsets will be priced at around $299, compared to $599 or higher for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, it should come as no surprise that the system requirements aren’t nearly as demanding.