Just a week after Google’s announcement to discontinue selling its prototype Google Glass, Microsoft has come up with its very interesting in-house mechanized headset, HoloLens.
Microsoft unwrapped this head-mounted holographic gadget HoloLens along with its newer Windows 10 version at the much-awaited Windows 10 event. This new headgear let its wearer view and interact with the three-dimensional images. It kind of builds a bridge between the reality and the digital world. Also, the company has stated Windows 10 would contain holographic capabilities in its every version.
The headgear has a shaded, transparent see-though lens, the side arms has spatial sounds augmenting to its three-dimensionality. It need not be paired with smartphone or computer for it to function. It has its own CPU, GPU and HPU which is Holographic Processing Unit specially designed for such holographic devices. This makes this headset completely wireless which takes a sharp edge over its competitors. Four cameras in the front detect the position of hand and let the user to interact with the holographic object.
Apart from crafting objects, it is also usable for gaming. Demo during the event displayed the holographic interactions on the surface of the marks. The company suggested Nasa would start using the gear but mid this year. This headset is expected to be in the market by end of this year with the Windows 10. Nothing about the price has been revealed.
In comparison with its competitors Google Glass and the Sulon Cortex, the hardware is transparent that allows complete view of what’s happening around. Google Glass is a smart companion that could be worn always whereas HoloLens is more of a short time wearable. Microsoft has seemed to have taken the best of Glass – real image and best of Sulon – advanced 3D digital graphics for the best holographic experience which has made the whole concept futuristic.
During the launch, the company allowed the press to take a demo of this ambitious product. There were different types of demos – Minecraft game on the coffee table, Walking on the mars, Skype. People who took up the demonstration says it is surreal but a very satisfying experience. They were fascinated how objects moved and changed with swing of their hands. They also say the virtual reality is not fully immersive as they can seen the real world between the virtual reality.
In the past year, we have seen many big companies really double and triple down on augmented reality. However, HoloLens seems to the first concept to really show off the massive potential of those opportunities. Even better, Microsoft might be able to sell the experience as something users and developer s actually want to embrace.