Microsoft has revealed at a press conference its new hologram technology: HoloLens.
The news came at a press conference in which the corporation was discussing new features in Windows 10. It will be available as a free upgrade from Windows 7 and Windows 8 owners for the first year.
Bringing the Holodeck to life with Azure
Microsoft HoloLens is essentially a headset that augments reality with virtual data, information and entertainment – a sort of cross between Project Oculus’s Oculus Rift, and Google’s Google Glass.
The headset is placed over the wearer’s head, and the lens comes down over the eyes, allowing the user to see the real world through the clear class. They can also view superimposed virtual information in real time, powered by Azure.
The headset will also allow wearers to Skype with each other, displaying the person on the other end of the video call in a window virtually imposed into the wearer’s environment.
Wearers can also augment the reality of other wearers. So for example, one user could show another how to change a tire on their car if both were wearing a HoloLens.
The instructor could simply video call the person in need of help, get a live video feed of the situation, talk the wearer through the steps to changing a tire, and even augment their reality with virtual annotations and arrows. None of this would be possible without the extra processing and network power afforded by Azure.
Arguably, Microsoft HoloLens sees Microsoft take a step forwarded with its company vision: mobile first, cloud first. When Satya Nadella, the corporation’s CEO, spoke at a conference in the UK, he discussed how the computing fabric of the world is becoming denser and richer. He sees Microsoft as a leader in mobile first platforms and services. These include their immensely profitable Office 365. Other devices and services include:
- Health – Microsoft’s fitness tracking platform
- Band – Microsoft’s first wearable
- Dropbox – With whom Microsoft has just announced a huge partnership
The company is yet to reveal any news about hardware or pricing. However, they’re confident that you’re going to want one. They’re calling it “the next PC”. Bold claims.