A member of Cirque du Soleil demonstrates use of Microsoft's HoloLens device in helping to virtually design a set at the Microsoft Build 2017 developers conference, Thursday, May 11, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Microsoft is expanding its exploration of a new technological frontier that allows people to mix the real world with three-dimensional projections of life-like images.
An update of Microsoft's Windows 10 software will include features for playing games and watching video in the realm of "mixed reality." The term refers to the melding of the artificial with things that are actually happening around us.
Microsoft also plans to introduce a new mixed reality headset and motion controller in time for the holiday season. The equipment, to be made by Acer, will sell as a package for $399.
That price is far more affordable than what Microsoft has been charging for another mixed reality headset called the HoloLens. That high-end device sells for $3,000 to $5,000.
Microsoft previewed the new Windows features Wednesday at a conference in Seattle. The update will come later this year.
An upcoming feature in Microsoft's Windows 10 system will automatically identify the best photos and videos to help people create highlights of their experiences.
The tool, called Story Remix, will be part of a "Fall Creators Update" to roll out later this year to 500 million personal computers, smartphones and tablets powered by Windows 10. Microsoft is previewing the update Thursday at a conference in Seattle for applications developers.
Microsoft will also make a Story Remix app for devices running Apple's iOS and Google's Android to help people share images from their children's soccer games and other events.
Apple and Google already offer similar tools to manage images. Both those companies have helped undercut the popularity of PCs running on Windows.