Explore mixed reality devices


Now that we've covered the conceptual differences between virtual reality experiences and augmented reality experiences, and where they fit into mixed reality, we can look at the hardware devices that you can develop with.


For applications and games on the augmented reality side of the spectrum, you would target Microsoft HoloLens. HoloLens has a see-through display so users can see the physical environment around them while wearing the headset, with full six-degrees-of-freedom movement for both rotation and translation.

Photograph of a HoloLens 2 device from the side.

Windows mixed reality immersive headsets

For virtual reality experiences, you can develop for a wide range of Windows mixed reality immersive headsets like the Samsung HMD Odyssey+ or the newly released HP Reverb G2. These devices have opaque displays that block out the physical environment and have full six-degrees-of-freedom movement to immerse users in a virtual world.

Photograph of a Samsung HMD Odyssey Plus device from the side.

It's worth noting that whether a device is tethered to a PC or self-contained has no impact on whether the device is holographic (augmented reality) or immersive (virtual reality). Both types of devices can be tethered or untethered.

The mixed reality spectrum revisited

In the following diagram of the mixed reality spectrum, you can see that choosing a target experience for your application corresponds to the type of device you can target. If you're creating an application that relies on the physical world around the user, HoloLens is the best bet. If you're going to throw your users into the deep end of the spectrum, then a Windows mixed reality immersive headset is the way to go.

Diagram of the mixed reality spectrum with the physical world and augmented reality devices on the left, and the digital world with virtual reality devices on the right.

Although no single device can run the entire mixed reality spectrum in today's technological landscape, the hope is that future holographic devices will become more immersive, while immersive devices will become more holographic.