Microsoft has announced its latest innovation, the Windows Holographic. It is an augmented reality experience that the company is building into Windows 10. Windows Holographic is “dreaming beyond virtual worlds – beyond screens” that will blend your digital life into your real world. And for this, the company has come out with a headset, Microsoft Hololens, which is similar to a VR headset but has certain additional features.
Microsoft Hololens is described as the “most advanced holographic computer the world has ever seen”. The Hololens has a dark visor at the front featuring a see-through display. It has spatial sound that allows you to “hear” holograms when they are behind you.
It has a built-in CPU, GPU and a special holographic processing unit (HPU). “The HPU gives us the ability to understand where you’re looking, to understand your gestures, to understand your voice, to spatially map your environment, to run without wires … all in real-time,” said Microsoft. This means the Microsoft Hololens works as a standalone unit which doesn’t need connectivity to a phone or a PC.
Microsoft demoed the power of Windows Holographic and the Microsoft HoloLens on stage where a virtual 3D quadrocopter was built by using the HoloStudio app and some finger pointing and voice commands. This quadrocopter was then printed on a 3D printer creating a real-world version of a digital creation. The HoloStudio app also allows you to ‘print preview’ your creation before 3D printing it.
It seems the developers have already started working on apps for Windows Holographic. It would be interesting to see what they come up with. Unfortunately, Microsoft Hololens is still in its early stages of development but Microsoft says it will become available “in the Windows 10 timeframe.”