Peeking over the fence at all the onstage hubbub about Windows Mixed Reality devices at Build was 3Glasses, a Chinese company that, so many of us keep forgetting, is one of the few that has working HMD hardware for the Windows Mixed Reality platform.
Whereas the Acer HMD was the star of two fancy demos on the Build show floor, 3Glasses had its own little booth--a kiosk, really--and if you sneezed, you would have missed the passing mention of 3Glasses at one of the Build keynotes.
Yet 3Glasses has been on board with the Microsoft XR train as long as any of the companies making HMDs for it. At its Build booth kiosk, it was showing full demos from within the “home” area of the Windows Mixed Reality environment. It also already has its own (mostly) working controllers and tracking system, and it’s shipping a dev kit now (just like Acer and HP), with plans for a consumer headset in Q4. (The dev kit is $500; 3Glasses didn’t say how much the consumer version would cost.)
“Q4” is really just another way of saying “holidays,” and that’s when Microsoft is promising that its first batch of HMDs will reach consumers (in the form of the Acer bundle it announced this week). Thus, it seems that 3Glasses is running parallel to Acer and HP in terms of mixed reality devices, but it’s not part of the “in” group for some reason.
This is probably a good point in the article to note that we don’t have an answer for the above. It’s likely that only a few people in the world do.
One possible explanation is that 3Glasses is an outsider because it was an outsider. The company was already working on its headset when Microsoft announced its mixed reality platform. 3Glasses then made the effort to ensure that its hardware would meet Microsoft’s criteria. In other words, whereas (as far as we know or can tell) Acer, HP, and Lenovo began working in earnest on their HMDs as part of Microsoft’s venture in mixed reality, 3Glasses was already doing its own thing. It was, and possibly is, an “other.”
It’s also simply possible the 3Glasses hardware isn’t ready yet. We went hands on with the 3Glasses setup at Build, and not all the features worked. Even so, the company assured us that there is finished hardware in the offing.