AMD is getting into the virtual reality (VR) game in a big way with the announcement of Sulon Q, a spatially aware headset that blends the immersion of VR with the real-world functionality of augmented reality (AR). AMD claims the result is a view of the world that doesn’t take away from reality, but rather enhances it.
What’s more, unlike most VR devices, the Sulon Q comes equipped with integrated computer components, including an AMD FX-8800P processor with Radeon R7 graphics. Complete with 8GB of memory and even a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD), the computing parts are bundled up into a portable hard drive-sized box attached to the rear of the device.
In essence, when you’re wearing the Sulon Q, you’ll have the headset sitting on the bridge of your nose and a full-on computer (built with laptop-sized components) strapped to the back of your skull.
AMD also claims that the headset, made in collaboration with a startup named Sulon Technologies, is the first to offer a completely untethered experience, beating the very similar (but less clunky looking) Microsoft HoloLens to market.
Speaking of which, the Sulon Q has Windows 10 pre-installed, and allows any app within the operating system to broadcast itself within a mixed-reality environment. We’ll see exactly how that works soon enough, as Sulon has yet to show it off.
As a headset alone, the Sulon Q comes equipped with an two OLED displays with a shared resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 resolution. This puts it above the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive‘s 2,160 x 1,200 resolution. The dual displays also refresh at a rate 90Hz and offer a 110-degree field of view (FOV).
An AMD representative tells us that the Sulon Q will be handed to developers as an easy option to expand the exposure of their VR experiences. That’s because AMD’s processor architecture is within every major gaming console and about 3 million PCs, making for easier porting.
AMD has yet to announce pricing or availability for the Sulon Q other than a mid-year release target, but stay tuned for our hands-on review of the AR-meets-VR headset from GDC 2016.
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