Microsoft has been teasing its E3 show for the past week or so, with hints about Project Scorpio. Now, we know the company is possibly looking to emphasize VR or AR with a new trademark filing for DirectReality. The single-word trademark describes itself as applying to “Computer software; computer game software; computer software for holographic applications… Online computer software; online computer game software; online computer software for holographic applications; Software as a Service (SaaS).”
There’s been a lot of chatter about whether this means VR, AR, or something altogether different. On the surface, it invites comparison to DirectX, Microsoft’s API for tasks related to multimedia programming, including video playback, gaming, 2D graphics, and GPU compute. The name “DirectReality” aligns well with the names of these other components. Direct3D (which is what most people mean when they reference DirectX) is a single word, as is Direct2D, DirectWrite, and DirectCompute. The API has also been critical to Microsoft’s console efforts in the past; the entire Xbox brand derives from DirectXbox.
That said, there are some interesting omissions here as well. Media speculation has been that this new DirectReality trademark could refer to programs for both VR and AR. But it’s also possible Microsoft is just trademarking a name that will allow it to advertise when a game supports certain non-traditional gaming modes, in much the same way that a GPU might advertise DirectX 12 support. In this reading, “DirectReality” would mean that a game offers certain gameplay options, rather than being an API for developers to use to improve their games.
Microsoft’s actual trademark application makes no mention of VR, though it does speak about “computer software for holographic applications,” verbiage that aligns more closely with the way Microsoft talks about HoloLens than any VR project. Microsoft has talked about VR and Project Scorpio before, but the company doesn’t seem to be putting much emphasis behind that move. There will be no VR headsets at E3, and Microsoft has also stated that Windows 10 is its primary focus as a mixed reality driver. In a recent interview with Polygon, Microsoft Technical Fellow Alex Kipman had this to say:
Our primary focus is making our mixed reality experiences a success on Windows 10 PCs,” Alex Kipman, technical fellow at Microsoft, told Polygon today. “We believe that right now a Windows PC is the best platform for mixed reality as its open ecosystem and enormous installed base offer the best opportunity for developers, and Windows offers the most choices for consumers.
“Windows has been the birthplace of a variety of technologies, and we believe this will hold for mixed reality too. Given the efforts we have underway on Windows for mixed reality, and our belief that console VR should be wireless, right now we are focused on developing mixed reality experiences for the PC, not on the console.”
That interview is only two days old and it suggests how this will play out. The cheap VR headsets that Windows 10 is meant to enable may well be matched by API support, branding initiatives, or both to make buying into the PC ecosystem more attractive to consumers and easier for developers to support. And it explains why the Project Scorpio development boards we’ve seen lack extra HDMI outputs or the other capabilities required to support wired VR with today’s Oculus Rift or HTC Vive — Microsoft wants a wireless VR (or a better AR) solution and it sees this as a fundamental requirement for the platform. The impact the emphasis on wireless will have on VR, and the need for battery-draining Wi-Fi speeds and local processing to run VR/AR workloads, is still unknown.
source : https://www.extremetech.com/computing/250636-microsoft-files-new-trademark-application-directreality-e3-approaches