This week Microsoft demonstrated prototypes for HoloLens, an image projection headset that superimposes holograms onto the real world. The new device is different from other holographic gadgets such as Facebook’s Oculus Rift because it has a clear lens which allows users to view holograms right along with the tangible things in front of them. Alex Kipman, the designer of Kinect, introduced Hololens at a Microsoft event on January 21st. He says HoloLens uses the world’s most advanced holographic computing platform which allows you to pin holograms to physical locations.
HoloLens uses three processor cores: a CPU, a GPU, and “holographic processing unit.” The device will be wireless, with advanced depth sensors and built-in spatial sound. There is no touchscreen or mouse to click. Instead, it is controlled by voice commands and hand and eye gestures. Unlike 3-D movies or existing virtual reality headsets that create the illusion of depth by showing different flat images to each eye, HoloLens uses light field displays.
Microsoft remains quiet about the components used to cram so much technology the headset. At In Compliance we are especially curious about what kind of battery will power this complicated wireless device.
There are several exciting potential uses for HoloLens: interactive communication, educational demonstrations, and of course, gaming. Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have already worked with Microsoft to map out a 3-D Martian landscape. Scientists will soon be exploring Mars using holograms of Mars Rover images which allow them to virtually walk on the surface of the planet.
Microsoft says HoloLens will be available along with Windows 10, which is expected to be released later this year.