What is Mixed Reality and what can you do with it?

When you have installed the Fall Creators Update for Windows 10, your PC is theoretically ready to run mixed reality applications. But you also need a matching headset and your hardware must be up-to-date. In this article, we'll tell you about mixed reality requirements and walk you through the setup. When that's done, we also have some nice software recommendations for you!

Mixed reality is a derivative of virtual and augmented reality. With virtual reality you imagine yourself completely in a digital reality. So everything around you is not real. Well-known examples of VR headsets are the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. Augmented reality, on the other hand, allows virtual objects to be seen in our own world. For example, suddenly virtual creatures float through your living room, as known from Pokémon Go. Microsoft's very expensive HoloLens provides augmented reality, but we mainly see the technology on smartphones.

With mixed reality, Microsoft establishes a collective term for applications that can fall under both categories. It is striking that the current generation of mixed-reality headsets cannot display traditional augmented reality. In fact, for the time being, they are 'just' virtual reality glasses. How do you get started?

01 Fall Creators Update

If you have postponed updating to the latest version of Windows 10 until now, this is a good time to do so. The update will arrive automatically, check this under Institutions / Update and Security / Windows Update. If it doesn't work, you can also update manually via the Windows 10 Update Assistant. Back up your important files beforehand just to be safe. You never know.

02 Check system requirements

Now check whether your PC meets all the system requirements. These are relatively low for mixed reality, if you adhere to the minimum requirements. It is recommended to use the recommended hardware as a guideline for the minimum. The faster the hardware, the less delay there is in the image. This is important, because with a frame rate that is too low, nausea can show up sooner. The speed of what you see does not match what your brain interprets. In addition, many VR games simply require powerful components.

The corresponding controllers connect to your PC via Bluetooth. If your motherboard does not have this on board as standard, then investing in a bluetooth receiver (about 15 euros) is necessary. Not sure if you have the right hardware? Then download the Windows Mixed Reality PC Check app from the Microsoft Store. It analyzes your system and shows exactly where upgrades are needed.

System requirements


Processor: Intel Core i5 7200U (dual core)

Video card: Intel HD 620 or Nvidia MX 150/965M (on board)

Free disk space: 10 GB

Memory: 8GB

USB: Version 3.0 or 3.1

HDMI: Version 1.4

Bluetooth for controllers: Version 4.0


Processor: Intel Core i5 4590 (quad core)

Video card: Nvidia GTX 960/1050 or AMD RX 460/560

Free disk space: 10 GB

Memory: 8GB

USB: Version 3.0 or 3.1

HDMI: Version 2.0

Bluetooth for controllers: Version 4.0

03 Invest in a headset

Once your PC is up to date in both software and hardware, you'll need another mixed reality headset (we abbreviate mixed reality as mr). If you have already invested in a Rift or a Vive… unfortunately, they don't work. Various brands have now released mr glasses, see the box 'The headsets'. Technically, the differences between the headsets are negligible, only the appearance differs. They all use so-called inside-out tracking. This means that the headsets have internal sensors that determine your position in a room. The Rift and Vive use external cameras for this, which makes installation a bit more difficult. Installing a mixed reality headset is much easier, more on that later. The headsets are for sale in combination with motion-sensitive controllers, which have been developed by Microsoft itself and are therefore the same for every pair of glasses. With that you can use your hands in the virtual worlds, which is so realistic. Control with keyboard and mouse or an Xbox controller is also an option, but often less fun.

The headsets

The first generation of mixed reality headsets hardly differ from each other. The only difference is the appearance; the hardware is the same in all cases. They have a resolution of 2880 x 1440 pixels, a refresh rate of 90 Hz and an angle of view of 105 degrees. Take into account a starting price of 399 euros. Samsung is working on glasses with integrated headphones, higher resolution and wider viewing angle, with AMOLED screens instead of LCD. But there are no plans yet to bring this more luxurious headset to the Netherlands.

04 Plug in the headset

When your headset is delivered, the fun can almost begin. The only thing left is the installation. Fortunately, it was beeped within a few minutes. The headsets have an HDMI cable and a USB cable, you can connect both. So keep in mind that you may have to sacrifice your monitor's HDMI connection for this. To still keep an image, a second HDMI port or another cable to the monitor, such as DVI, is required. Windows 10 immediately recognizes the headset as such and the Mixed Reality portal starts. If this is not the case, you can find the program itself in the start menu.

05 Pair the controllers

click on To work and at the terms of use at I agree. In the next window click on Next one to start the installation procedure of the headset and possibly the controllers. After a few more times Next one Once you have clicked, you are somewhat familiar with the buttons on the controllers and your PC will look for their bluetooth signal. Press and hold the Windows key for two seconds to turn them on. Then remove the battery cover to find a pairing button. Keep it pressed until the LEDs on the controller start blinking. When both controllers are set, press . again Next one.

06 Determine your freedom of movement

When this is completed, a final step follows in which you indicate how much room to move you have. Are you sitting right in front of your computer at a desk? Then choose Configure for sitting and standing. You can then look around in virtual reality, but not walk back and forth. If you want that, then choose Configure for all experiences (Recommended). For this you need at least a surface of 1.5 x 2 meters. You may have to move some furniture to the side so that you don't trip over it afterwards. In the next screen, you walk with the headset pointed at the PC exactly along the very edges of your movement surface, so that the software knows where those boundaries are. If everything is successful, the Mixed Reality portal will then show that your headset Ready is. Time to put on the glasses!

07 Learn to walk around virtually

You end up in a virtual environment in which you mainly learn how the controllers work. This is not as obvious as you might think, but becomes second nature. You move using teleportation. That is to say: you point the stick to where you want to go. When you let go of the stick, you're right there. Free movement is not in it, for good reason. This way of 'walking around' was invented to prevent motion sickness. Follow the on-screen instructions in Dutch to learn how to point and operate menus in virtual reality with the controllers. A child can do the laundry!

08 Discover the Cliffhouse

At the end of the ride you end up in a holiday home, a place that serves as a hub for starting mixed-reality programs. In this space, apps and software hang on the walls like paintings. Some of the default programs found here are the Edge browser and Skype. But you will also soon find a room with a huge cinema screen on the wall, where you can watch the films and series that are on your PC. Or decorate your digital house with holograms. You can add programs yourself via the menu that opens as soon as you press the Windows key on the controllers. For example, you can work on a Word document in virtual reality. Not the most effective way of word processing, but nice to try.

09 Download mixed reality apps

Once you've got the hang of the controls, you can open the Microsoft Store to download various mixed reality apps there. You will also find this download shop in one of the digital rooms. Once installed, you can also open the apps from virtual reality, so you don't have to take off the glasses. Finally, we list some of the best apps and games for you here. Have fun VR!

The Best Mixed Reality Apps

1 TheBlu - €9.99

Moving around in virtual reality definitely takes some getting used to. Nausea can be lurking because your brain isn't used to movement without you actually moving yourself. Apps where you only have to look around and therefore stand still are perfect for getting used to the digital reality. TheBlu is a good example. This is a collection of short scenarios set in the ocean. For example, on a shipwreck you suddenly come face-to-face with a huge whale. Very impressive.

2 Big Screen - Free

In the holiday home you can already watch movies on a virtual cinema screen, but the options are somewhat limited. Bigscreen is much more extensive. This app turns your desktop into a mega screen, after which you can do everything you normally do with your PC. So watching movies, but also gaming is an option. Not only in a living room, but also in the mountains, in a theater or in the universe. The nice thing about Bigscene is that you can also invite others to watch or play online with you. This way you can watch the same movie with people from all over the world!

3 Jaunt VR - Free

If you have ever tried virtual reality on smartphones, the name Jaunt VR may sound familiar to you. The app is now also out for mixed-reality headsets and also lets you watch different 360-degree videos on Windows 10. Think of a nature documentary where you are in the middle of the penguins. Or attend a Paul McCartney concert as if you were on stage. There are dozens of films available in all kinds of genres, from music videos to sports and animation films.

4 Tee Time Golf - €14.99

Sports games lend themselves very well to virtual reality, as demonstrated by Tee Time Golf. By imitating a wave motion with the controllers, you give the ball a small tap or a hard blow. Can you hit a hole-in-one that way? There are six lanes by default, but you can also design them yourself. With that waving, make sure you don't accidentally knock something over or hit bystanders. An accident is in a small corner.

5 Space Pirate Trainer - €14.99

Do you ever want to play a game in VR? Space Pirate Trainer is highly recommended. In this you are given two virtual pistols to defend yourself against hordes of flying robots. The aim is to get the highest possible score. The nice thing about this game is that you also have to dodge oncoming bullets. The image slows down so you can bend or step aside in time. Now you know how Neo felt in The Matrix!

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