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Microsoft unveils HoloLens holographic 3D headset; neither VR nor augmented reality


Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled HoloLens, the holographic three-dimensional headset along with the release of the Windows 10 preview build. Chief inventor Alex Kippman described that the device is neither VR or augmented reality, but “higher definition holograms.”microsoft-hololens

HoloLens is quite similar to AG devices like Epson’s Moverio as there is interaction with digital content. Microsoft has improved the design and build of the AR glasses capable of projecting holograms and competing with Virtual reality headsets like Project Morpheus from Sony and Oculus Rift. The new technology will depend on voice and gestures and will not have any attached wires or keyboard. The event showcased the HoloLens in action and lacked the details of the hologram features.

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The promising device is in the prototype stages and took seven years to develop. As of now, the device is equipped with transparent lenses, several sensors, spatial sound, CPU, GPU and Microsoft’s own hologram processing unit. The untethered HoloLens comes with Windows 10 software. However the battery life is likely to be low due to the lack of connection to the computer.

Microsoft has incorporated the gesture and voice inputs from the Kinect devices used for Xbox and has received only moderate popularity. The pricing of the HoloLens can either go to the range of Google Glass’s $1500 or close to the pricing of the yet-to-be released Oculus Rift priced at $200-$400.

The software giant is entering the augmented reality market to compete with AR and VR makers though the device will take quite a while to reach the hands of the users. Microsoft’s Windows 10 will make the company a software leader and will have to work hard as there are several rival Redmond products in development. It remains to be seen of the company claims of holograms is an advertising gimmick or it can really deliver the practical holographic experience.

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About Anirudh Madhav

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A movie buff, a bookworm, and a compulsive doodler. All posts by Anirudh

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