Microsoft HoloLens, the hologram goggles
For the uninitiated, the HoloLens is a virtual reality PC headset that runs on Windows 10 and brings high-definition holograms to life in the real world, where they integrate with physical places, spaces, and things. Microsoft’s HoloLens, which the company unveiled at its Redmond, Wash., headquarters on January 22, 2015, is a sleek, flashy headset with transparent lenses. You can see the world around you, but suddenly that world is transformed — with 3D objects floating in midair, virtual screens on the wall and your living room covered in virtual characters running amok.
Microsoft said it will release the ski-goggle-like HoloLens about the same time as its new operating system Windows 10 later this year. Analysts say the device may have industrial 3-D modeling applications, as well as find use in the home and for games.
Some of the world’s biggest tech companies are working on wearable devices that aim to create realistic, three-dimensional representations of alien worlds or imaginary creatures.
The device seemingly uses an array of motion senses, as well as a Kinect-style camera so that it knows where the wearer is in the room, and can also recognize objects. Add in both gesture and voice controls, and you have both a compelling alternative to fully immersive virtual reality headsets like Oculus Rift and Sony’s Project Morpheus, and the Magic Leap augmented reality headset that counts Google among its many excited investors.
Out of all demonstrations of Hololens the most striking demonstration involved a project in which Microsoft partnered with scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. They’ve created a vividly realistic, three-dimensional landscape by knitting together photographs and data collected by NASA’s Curiosity rover.
You can’t actually try it on to see what all the fuss is about, but the 3D model includes a bunch of interactive annotations so you can check out all the technology that Microsoft has packed into the HoloLens, including Kinect-like sensors and video cameras so others can see what you’re looking at too.
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