Microsoft is looking to make good use of its social VR platform AltspaceVR next week as it hosts its first Ignite keynote in virtual reality.

Alex Kipman, technical fellow at Microsoft’s AI and Mixed Reality team, announced that the virtual event will be taking place in the company’s social VR platform for all to join, either in-headset or via livestream video.

Kipman, who was one of the fundamental drivers behind the creation of HoloLens, says the keynote is slated to be an experience that will offer “more immersion than you’ve ever seen before.”

AltspaceVR has changed quite a bit since the first days of consumer VR, and even more so after Microsoft acquired the ailing social platform in 2017. Since then, AltspaceVR has been refocused as an event platform that hosts user-created meetups of all sorts. AltspaceVR supports SteamVR headsets, Oculus Rift, and Oculus Quest.

We’re not sure what to expect from the keynote, but it’s certainly making good use of VR as a way to bypass the whole social distancing phenomenon which has disrupted all manner of yearly expo and conference. Whatever the case, Microsoft is using the all-digital event to talk about new products, so it may have something VR/AR up its sleeves.

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Although you can sign up for all other talks by registering, the VR keynote hasn’t been officially posted yet, however you should find it on the AltspaceVR event page closer to the kickoff of the event, which starts on March 2nd at 8AM PT (local time here). Make sure to check out the full list of events and keynotes for the three-day event here, and signup for special digital access.

Besides the XR-centric keynote, another highlight of Ignite 2021 is invariably a talk from Simon Skaria, director of HoloLens and computer vision at Microsoft, which promises to include info on the company’s vision for the future of mixed reality. We’ll be following along throughout Ignite, so make sure to check back then.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • 3872Orcs

    Cool! I’ll be going then. Hopefully there’s some real news of Microsoft stepping up their presence in VR. They’ve been dropping the the ball for too long now.

  • knuckles625

    This is their second Unite in Altsoace. I joined several sessions last time and all were solely focused on Hololens. Questions kept coming up about Windows mixed reality/VR and I don’t think a single Microsoft employee gave an answer that didn’t just guide the question back to hololens. Which is a little ridiculous…. Since you can’t even “attend” Unite with a hololens, but you can with a WMR.

    • knuckles625

      Add-on: There is no session of the 349 that mentions VR or that I would expect to touch on VR. Unless there’s an announcement Microsoft is keeping very close to the vest, it is unlikely anyone interested in VR development (outside of a hololens) will gain much from joining

  • sfmike

    Microsoft has written off VR as a money loser so don’t expect them to address it as they are putting all their efforts in the AR until it proves not to be the quick billion dollar tech they and so many others are desperately looking for.

    • guest

      They are still Jonesing from being losers in the mobile market and think they’re going to relive their glory days in AR, but their other established divisions are naturally going the kill it, just like Apple will this time around, and YouTube killed VR at Google with all their incompatible formats on every browser…

  • Ardra Diva

    I don’t really know whether to laugh or cry looking at that screenshot and thinking to myself, “this is what people think is VR”. Which we know has way better-looking apps than this. The future ain’t yet.

    • Tim Moyer

      Well said! This is one of the biggest hurtles VR faces – marketing VR.

    • guest

      Those one arms coming out of the chest reminds me of the retard gesture we used to make in grade school…

  • It would be cool if they teased a consumer future AR device…

  • Joyce Kane

    It’d be great if they teased a consumer-facing AR device in the future… Sometime, why you don’t play some game example like smash karts with me, it’s really fun, trust me