Gadget of the Week – Microsoft HoloLens

In an era when everyone is heading towards virtual reality, Microsoft has decided to take the other route. The HoloLens by Microsoft is an excellent attempt at holographic technology that seems to be finally useful for something.

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The Microsoft HoloLens is a big lens with a headband that fits over the head like a bicycle  helmet. It looks very normal and doesn’t appear space age, in fact, it looks a little bulky. But this is just a prototype and we expect to see modifications and refinement in the final version or at least in the second instalment of the HoloLens.

The Microsoft HoloLens can display semi-transparent or opaque images in the lens, which will actually appear to the user as if these images are objects floating in front of them in the real world. Although how convincing this effect will be, it will still depend on the quality and resolution of the images displayed by the lens.

Microsoft has stated that the HoloLens will be available with Microsoft’s own proprietary OS, designed specifically for the wearable, the Microsoft Windows Holographic. It is a version of the Windows 10 that has been tweaked and optimized for the HoloLens. The HoloLens also has the ability to analyze where the user is looking and provide an augmented reality experience. For example: If the user decides to stick the virtual sticky notes on his refrigerator, the HoloLens will save it and whenever the user looks at the refrigerator, the sticky notes will be rendered instantaneously as if the they have always been there.

Microsoft has also stated that the HoloLens will be equipped with a High Definition display, but it has not specified whether it will be a 720p or a 1080p. We expect to see a 1080p display since the 720p will look pixelated when used for the holographic technology and that’s very uninspiring.

The Microsoft HoloLens will operate individually and run its own version of the Windows 10 OS, thereby bring eliminating the need for any accessories. It will most probably be powered by an Intel Chipset or something from the Cherry Trail line up. The CPU and GPU will both be high end and they will be mated to an additional HPU dubbed as the Holographic Processing Unit to decipher the UI and respond to inputs in the holographic layout. Microsoft also assures that the sound technology using in the headset will provide an immersive experience through numerous dedicated sensors.

The HoloLens seems to be Microsoft’s answer to the already existing virtual reality gear like the Occulus Rift, Samsung Gear and Sony Morpheus. The main difference lies in the fact that Microsoft is attempting to make it a productive tool instead of an entertainment console. Microsoft’s HoloLens also differs in the fact that it uses augmented reality which actually adds new layers on top of the existing layers.

There are multiple uses for both the technologies ranging from aircraft simulation training to casual gaming and everything will be exceptionally impressive. With the Microsoft HoloLens, everything true feels sci-fi, especially in the demo videos from Microsoft.

While we are eagerly awaiting the launch of the Microsoft HoloLens, it is also our duty to mention that the HoloLens is not the first of its kind. Holographic technology has already been adopted earlier in niche devices like the Atheer Meta Space Pro glasses. But they are for the most part still a prototype and are not available commercially. This is where Microsoft takes the lead by making it a point to commercialize its HoloLens.

We expect to experience the Iron Man like Holographic interface soon, and we will update you more information as soon as we get our hands on it.

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