Microsoft HoloLens – a New Gadget on the Augmented Reality Market
HoloLens is the first of Microsoft Window’s attempts to enter into the augmented and virtual reality market. This technological wonder is the creation of Alex Kipman, one of the company’s brilliant minds who worked on it more than 15 years. Unfortunately, he was killed in car accident just a few weeks ago, so he will not be able to see its gadget used by those it was intended for.
With a simple, yet smart design, HoloLens turns the unreal into real and the transparent visor of the headset can project electronic constructs into the user’s area of view. Then, he can analyze and interact with scanned things as if they were there. This technological innovation offers a number of opportunities, with the help of which Microsoft wishes to plunge directly into the VR market.
Microsoft HoloLens – Release Date and Prices
Microsoft has not yet communicated an official date for the launching of its products, but rumors hint that it will probably be at the end of this year, possibly in December 2015. There is plenty of time until then to speculate and anticipate about what might expect us when we get our hands on the device.
The price tag, for now, is little discussed about. However, due to the characteristics of this technological innovation, there has been some disclosure regarding the costs. As an opponent of Facebook’s Oculus Rift, it is very likely that Microsoft will not have its price too high above it to not discourage potential buyers.
HoloLens is a separate device, while Oculus Rift or other gadgets in this industry need a computer and other exterior resources to power them. It is also presented by Microsoft as an all-purpose device with work and efficiency programs as well as for entertainment, contrary to opponents’ gaming-centric position.
These options could place the HoloLens in the higher-cost segment. While an Oculus Rift might be sold for around $500, it is possible for Microsoft to negotiate a cost nearer to the lower level of AR gadgets, which in retail stores can reach $350-$400.
Microsoft HoloLens – Features
The Intel Cherry processor facilitates wireless charging, and this will certainly be a main Mirosoft HoloLens feature. We cannot spot an apparent port for charging, and it would be an important improvement regarding the user’s comfort in comparison to its opponents.
There is also the prospective for streaming films to external displays, but we cannot see it being very efficient and is unlikely to represent one of the product’s significant selling points.
Microsoft has insisted on using the HoloLens as a toy, but also as a tool, and presented a Minecraft-type of game and the exclusive 3D-modelling application, HoloStudio. The program features gamers making gaps through some real-world objects to expose electronic surroundings, while the HoloStudio room allows creators to make, operate and modify 3D designs that can then be released to 3D printers.
Microsoft HoloLens – Applications
One of the most exciting things about AR is the way it pertains to conventional media. While the initial response may be to disregard 2D movies as unimportant in an exclusive 3D studio, Micrsoft’s HoloLens has proven otherwise. The applications, seen in the brief presentations, take the user into a virtual cinema where you can see 2D movies or video clips.
It seems that the company is planning to use this strategy with HoloLens, integrating video-on-demand solutions into the entertainment features. As seen in the promotional content, Microsoft has already planned to associate with Netflix online, adapting the HoloLens to project onto floating screens or on the surfaces found in the users’ houses.
The regular clutch of programs for smart phones will obviously be getting their HoloLens editions, such as the 3D view of a weather forecast, as well the social media feeds involved, with various software improvements. One emphasize of the currently known programs, however, is the HoloLens-modified Skype.
During the presentation of this application, customers were advised through realistic guiding by a professional over Skype. The owner could observe what was going on from a customer’s perspective, as well as have notes in their eye line, enabling them to inform the client successfully and unobtrusively.
More amazing, still, even if a tad less efficient, is the Martian discovery experience. Designed together with Nasa’s JPL, the free trial allows customers to discover and indicate elements on an exclusive trip on Mars’ surface, created with actual images taken by the probes out there.
Microsoft HoloLens – Technical Specifications
The company is quite secretive about the components specifications for this new AR device, but we can share some data from the product’s unofficial presentations. In the visor’s eyepiece there are incorporated transparent holographic high definition lenses, indicating that the resolution will be either 1080p (known also as ‘Full HD’) or a less accurate, but still an officially HD resolution of 720p. There is also a small chance that Microsoft HoloLens might have the 4K display, this placing it ahead of its competitors, but Microsoft should have described that feature in the business presentation.
As it was found out by specialists in the industry who are familiarized with the AR hardware, HoloLens will have an Intel’s Cherry processor. These new lines of CPUs are guaranteed to be more compact, quicker and richer in features than the Intel forerunners, this having some exciting effects for the AR headset. To begin with, it could indicate wi-fi energy powering for the Microsoft HoloLens, since Intel plans to introduce this technological innovation for the tablets with the new processor.
Another significant development brought by Intel is processor’s gesture controlling. This option obviously allows an extensive variety of hands-free techniques for using the tablets, and it is not difficult to think about HoloLens possibly integrating this facility.
Cherry Trail can also operate the WiDi technology, a setting which can easily stream films, video clips and programs from peripheral devices to main exterior devices. This option could locate its place into the HoloLens, as a method to stream the customer’s perspective to an exterior display for innovative or enjoyment activities.
Alongside the conventional CPU or GPU hardware in other computer systems, HoloLens also has an innovative ‘Holographic Processing Unit’. These co-processors obviously manage the incorporation and connections to real surroundings and virtual objects, allowing the HoloLens to understand the environment.
Regarding the gadget’s receptors, the best guess is to observe the XBOX Kinect 2.0. Designed by specialists currently working at the HoloLens, the console equipment involved details and 1080p resolution cameras, but also infrared indicators. It is a safe supposition that these will operate in the new design too.
From the few pictures of the product that have been published, we can also notice that the visor features at least 4 electronic cameras. Then, it is expected to see that there is a whole series of extra sensor beneath the carcass either and it is almost sure to at least operate the standard package of gyroscopes, accelerometers and altimeters built into the modern mobile phones.
Microsoft HoloLens – User Experience
HoloLens is a device that improves the augmented reality (AR) experience, rather than virtual reality (VR), meaning that all images are projected within the customer’s visual perspective, rather than being blocked out, as it happens in the immersive experiences provided by virtual reality gadgets.
HoloLens will have efficiency and entertainment features, even if it places higher emphasis on the latter, while other similar products are targeted more on the technical performances.
Videos launched by its creators show a sense of reality that is at least on par with the experiences presented by other competitors and the rather few reviews described by the technology evaluation specialists seem to support the accuracy of these details.
If you are interested in more information about the Latest Virtual & Augmented Reality Devices and their capabilities, you should check out devices like Oculus Rift, Gear VR or Google Cardboard.