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3D, Mixed Reality and the Microsoft Windows 10 Event

  • Ashley Speagle By

The Windows 10 Creators Update is expected to ship for free in early 2017 to every Windows 10 device. The Creators Update, announced at today’s Microsoft event, advances the company’s vision for making mixed reality valuable and accessible to all and enables users to quickly connect and share these new types of content.

Here are three big takeaways.

Immersive 3D Creation

In the next Windows 10 update, users can create 3D elements both out of digital drawings and real world objects. In videos, students could spin documents and objects with a stylus and insert photos into 3D canvases.

The benefits of 3D elements are obvious for engineers, illustrators and others that work directly with graphics and visual information. Microsoft also believes 3D will empower everyone to better communicate and learn beyond the limitations of 2D documents, spreadsheets and slides.

In Microsoft PowerPoint, you’ll soon be able to insert 3D images and animations into slides as easily as 2D photos and videos. Microsoft plans to integrate 3D support across more of their most popular apps.

Moving from 2D to Mixed Reality

3D will usher in, “a new era of innovation that allows you to work seamlessly across the screens and into the physical world around you,” said Microsoft General Manager Megan Saunders. In a demonstration, Megan scanned a 360-degree image of a sandcastle onto her phone, manipulated that sandcastle in the new Paint 3D app and added 3D images to it from a new online community supported by Microsoft Edge.

In another demo, Microsoft demonstrated how users could pull those 3D images from the Edge browser into mixed reality worlds with Microsoft HoloLens and virtual reality (VR) devices. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella called it the birth of a new medium: Moving seamlessly from 2D to 3D, from 3D to holograms and from holograms to mixed reality.

[Related: Smart Glasses at Work: AirWatch Now Supports IoT Augmented Reality]

Simple, Affordable VR

You’ll be able to buy VR accessories supported by the Creators Update soon from HP, Lenovo, Dell, Acer and ASUS—starting at $299. You won’t be able to get them until 2017, and only for use with laptops and PCs, but Microsoft says the experience will be better and easier to use than anything else out there.

[Related: Virtual and Augmented Reality in the Enterprise]

Microsoft’s step into 3D creation and sharing is important. It will soon answer the question, “Mixed reality is cool, but what do you do with it?” Mixed reality devices evolved much faster than the content, but now, Microsoft will be able to empower users to create their own mixed reality content to accelerate adoption.

“The next 10 years will be defined by technology that empowers profound creation,” said Satya. “New computing mediums do not take shape by technology alone. It’s up to creators to seize the moment and bring this technology to life.”

You can check out the #MicrosoftEvent on Twitter to find out more about the new Surface Studio (called a “floating sheet of pixels”), the Surface Dial tool and the new Surface Book.

Learn more about VMware AirWatch and Windows 10:

Ashley Speagle

Ashley Speagle

Ashley is a content marketing specialist for VMware AirWatch.

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