Microsoft has announced it is joining the XR Association (XRA), a trade group founded to represent manufacturers of augmented, virtual, and mixed reality (AR, VR, and XR) hardware and software.
Having been kicked off by the barnstorming success of Oculus VR's rift platform, which secured millions in independent funding and millions more in crowdfunding cash before being acquired by Facebook for $2 billion, the current artificial and augmented reality (AR and VR) resurgence - known in concert as mixed reality, or XR - has some big names attached. As well as Facebook there's Sony's PlayStation VR (PSVR), HTC's rapidly-growing Vive family, and Microsoft's Windows Mixed Reality platform with Acer, HP, Asus, Lenovo, and Samsung listed among its members.
Slow uptake of Microsoft's Windows Mixed Reality offerings, and even slower uptake for its professional augmented reality HoloLens family, though, doesn't appear to have dampened the company's enthusiasm: Microsoft has now officially announced its membership of the XR Association, alongside Facebook, Google, HTC, Samsung, and Sony.
'We couldn’t be more excited to partner with our industry peers,' says Microsoft's Heidi Holman, assistant general counsel, who will serve as Microsoft's representative on the XRA's board of directors, 'to support the XRA's mission of promoting the safe and responsible development and adoption of XR technology globally.'
'We are thrilled to welcome Microsoft to XRA,' adds Elizabeth Hyman, chief executive of the XR Association. 'This is a significant milestone that reflects the growth of the XR industry, which encompasses augmented reality, mixed reality, and future technologies yet to be developed in the rapidly-evolving XR space. Microsoft’s advanced mixed reality offerings, including its groundbreaking HoloLens headset, and its expertise in this arena, strengthen the XRA's ability to provide a unified voice for the XR industry.'
Microsoft's joining now leaves few major AR, VR, and XR vendors not represented on the XRA board - with one notable exception being Apple, which has been working with smartphone-based augmented reality and is rumoured to be planning a smart-glasses product in the near future.
January 24 2020 | 12:00