At its WinHEC conference today, Microsoft announced "Project Evo", a joint collaboration with Intel, to advance the powers of AI to new limits. Under this partnership, the companies aim to bring advanced security features and improvements to Cortana, AI, mixed reality, and gaming.
With Project Evo, Microsoft is making far-field communications with AI possible, which means that users will be able to interact with Cortana, and other forms of AI, from across the room. The company is also making devices more secure against the threats of hacking and malware by advancing the security capabilities of biometric forms of authentication, such as Windows Hello. This will be aided by analytics from Intel and insights from Microsoft's Intelligent Security Graph.
The company is also making advancements in the way people play games by improving High Dynamic Range (HDR), 4K video, spatial audio, Wide Color Gamut (WCG), game broadcasting, and adding support for native Bluetooth on Xbox controllers.
Microsoft aims to make mixed reality mainstream in 2017 by providing innovative experiences for everyone with affordable PCs and head mounted displays (HMDs). The Redmond giant is making this possible by partnering with various companies to offer more than 20,000 mixed reality UWP apps in the Windows Store, support for WebVR content through Microsoft Edge, and the availability of 360-degree videos via the Movies & TV app. The company's full range of efforts include:
- We submitted Microsoft HoloLens for government approval in China, and we look forward to making it available to developers and commercial customers in China in the first half of 2017.
- We shared the specifications that we co-developed with Intel for PCs that will power the first headsets capable of mixed reality. HMDs from Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, and Lenovo will be available next year.
- Joining those partners, 3Glasses, the leading China-based hardware developer for HMDs, will bring the Windows 10 experience to their S1 device in the first half of 2017, reaching more than 5 million monthly active customers in China.
- Customers will gain access to amazing mixed reality content. This includes:
- More than 20,000 universal Windows apps in the catalog
- 3D objects from the web using Microsoft Edge to drag and drop into their physical world
- Immersive WebVR content via Microsoft Edge
- 360 degree videos available for the first time in the Movies & TV app
- Finally, HMD developer kits will become available to developers at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.
Together with Intel, Microsoft says that it plans to "raise the bar for what’s possible with Windows PCs" by extending these experiences to the hundreds of millions of PCs and HMD customers under Project Evo in 2017.