Intel unveils Project Alloy virtual reality platform

Oculus Rift and HTC Vive aren't the only companies dreaming big about virtual reality. At the Intel Developer Forum today, Intel's CEO Brian Krzanich revealed Project Alloy, the company's upcoming "merged reality" solution. Intel plans to offer the Project Alloy platform to developers sometime in 2017.

One of Project Alloy's key technologies is Intel's RealSense camera system. These cameras enable movement with six degrees of freedom—without the need for external sensors or cameras. The RealSense cameras also offer merged reality features. Intel claims that Project Alloy allows users to see their hands, friends, and nearby walls while still interacting with virtual worlds.

Unlike the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, which require users to own a powerful gaming computer, Intel's Project Alloy is an all-in-one device that doesn't need to be tethered to a computer. Intel hasn't revealed what kind of hardware will power the device, but claims that the device "completely redefines what is possible" from an all-in-one VR device. 

Intel doesn't appear to be interested in making and selling its own Project Alloy devices, at least for the long term. Instead, Intel plans to make its technologies available to other developers. The company will open-source the Alloy hardware and SDK in 2017. 

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