The latest beta version of Windows 10, the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17723, carries a support for pass-through video mode for the VR headsets of Windows.
This beta was released this week for the users of the Windows Insider Program. The new feature is called Mixed Reality Flashlight and can be activated via voice command or controller shortcut.
It provides two circular video windows in front of the user. Both the windows will be positioned based on where you are pointing the controller. The cameras mounted on the headsets will show the video in these windows.
A YouTuber called NXTwoThou posted a video on how it all goes. The pass-through video appears monochrome as the cameras do not have color sensors (maybe not just yet). Microsoft states that the video portals are ‘low-latency,’ however do not offer much detail.
Pass-through video brings convenience to get to your headphones, controllers and related accessories when (and of course) you don’t want to remove your headset.
Almost all the Windows VR headsets have a flip-up visor that’s quite handy for you to have a glimpse at the real world in between your engagement with the headset. Samsung Odyssey will want to use the Mixed Reality Flashlight because it does not have the flip-up visor.
HTC Vive and Vive Pro are equipped with a similar function, although remains widely unused. The reasons could be either the ‘tron mode’ filter that’s applied by default or the offered low resolution. Vive Pro is presently being used by HTC for experimenting whether the video feed can be used for augmented reality purposes.
Want to preview the feature? You can join the Windows Insider Program and get the update of the Build 17723. Or you can simply wait for the worldwide rollout of the next Windows update.