Microsoft enters 3D headset race with HoloLens

ITworld | Jan 22, 2015

Microsoft's Windows Holographic is a 3D imaging and augmented reality system based around Windows 10 and a device called the HoloLens.

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“We are dreaming in holograms”

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Microsoft has previewed what it thinks might be one of the futures of computing. It calls it Windows Holographic, but it’s really more like a 3D imaging and augmented reality system based around Windows 10 and a device called the HoloLens.

The headset will be wireless with its own high-end CPU and GPU. It will also come with a new chip called a holographic processing unit, or HPU for short.

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Alex Kipman
Microsoft
The HPU gives us the ability to understand where you’re looking at, to understand your voice.

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Microsoft didn’t explain how the HoloLens works, but it appears to be cameras projecting images on to a couple of pieces of clear glass that give the appearance of a hologram.

The company did give a live demo of the device with a Microsoft employee building a flying copter using a 3D toolbox.

SOT from demo.

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Microsoft was vague about when HoloLens will come out, only saying it will be available in the Windows 10 timeframe.

It will be accompanied by support in Windows 10, including a set of APIs to let developers create holographic applications.
Microsoft’s entry into the 3D imaging space comes at a time when several companies have tried headset products, but so far none have proved a hit with consumers. Google recently said it would stop selling its first-generation Glass, Oculus remains a niche device and others like Sony are still working on products.

In San Francisco, Melissa Aparicio, IDG News Service.