New features offered by Microsoft’s latest operating system and flashy tech were highlights of the preview, but possibly the most eye catching announcement was HoloLens. Microsoft is calling this new product a fully “untethered” holographic computer.
This holographic computer looks nothing like the traditional computer with flat screen and keyboard leashed or connected to it. Instead HoloLens is in the form of goggles worn on the head. Microsoft is saying its new product will have no wires, no external cameras, no markers, and no connections to phones or PCs needed. This is what they mean by “untethered,”
The ‘screen’ is the space around you, seen through transparent glass lenses. Instead of a mouse, HoloLens is controlled by a combination of gestures and voice commands. It’s a new way of looking at computing.
HoloLens will not be displaying holograms in the classic sense. There will be no 3D images popping up in the middle of the room.
Instead, what is does is beam light straight into the user’s pupils. Only the wearer can see what’s being displayed. What makes HoloLens unique is that while the wearer can see what is being displayed, they can also see their natural surroundings.
Microsoft is claiming HoloLens takes technology and makes it more personal and interactive.
To make HoloLens work, Microsoft says it had to go beyond the GPU (graphical processing unit) and CPU (central processing unit). HoloLens has both of these, but it also requires a third processing unit called the HPU. That’s holographic processing unit.
Microsoft boasts that its new HPU processes terabytes of information gathered in real time from HoloLens’ many sensors. Capturing and tracking a user’s eye movement, gestures, and voice, there is no delay in response to commands it receives. It can reportedly spatially map your surroundings to display holograms on real world objects.
It’s debatable whether what HoloLens does can be considered actual holograms. A better way to reference it might be augmented reality. Whatever you choose to call it, HoloLens is a fascinating concept. There is no telling how well the finished product will work or how useful it will be.
Check out Microsoft’s video demo of HoloLens below:
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