Why everyone is talking about Microsoft’s holographic viewing headset

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Holograms feels so 80s but now they are enjoying a resurgence thanks to Microsoft’s Windows 10 announcement Wednesday. The tech giant unveiled a headset that will allow users to interact with holographic images, so they can play video games and build 3-D models, for instance.

A wireless see-through headset, Microsoft HoloLens can continue to see the physical environment around the wearers, unlike virtual reality headsets that completely envelope people with 3-D imagery, as the Times points out.

The headset offers spatial sound, allowing holographs behind users to be heard. Advanced sensors pick up information from the surrounding world. The HoloLens boasts a CPU and GPU as well as a third processor, one Microsoft invented and is calling a holographic processing unit.

Microsoft worked on HoloLens for years, Microsoft’s Alex Kipman said, and the headset will release in the Windows 10 timeframe.

Windows 10 will be available free later this year, we learned today, but is it unclear how much the headset and accompanying software will cost.

At the demo in Redmond, a Microsoft employee made a 3-D model of a drone using the HoloLens, as his hand gestured to manipulate software tools that were visible to her through the lenses of the headset.

It looks like the technology is riffing off the augmented reality innovation, where holographic images can appear in what appears to be real scenes, layered atop reality. We can already see the B2B applications: software developers can create prototypes in 3-D before committing to beta; gaming firms can play with new ideas by sculpting them with HoloLens and sending them to developers for consultation; and 3-D printing companies working with business clients can better showcase their products in real-time.

For more on the Windows 10 release and other related, check out this thorough coverage provided by CNET.

Photo via screenshot


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