• Posted on January 21, 2015

Windows HoloLens - Holographic Glasses

Today while working I was watching the Microsoft Press Conference and all of the normal things were announced, such as Windows 10 updates, various integration with Xbox One and Windows and the Windows Surface Hub which is a TV like device for conference rooms. But what really got my attention was the Windows HoloLens. It will probably be compared to Google Glass or various VR headsets that are already released, but it actually a lot different from what I can tell.

First, for those who missed the Press Release, Windows HoloLens is a head device that looks like glasses with a tinted cover in the front, like what you would find on motorcycle helmets. It’s a sun visor like cover. It dosn’t cover the top of your head but has a plastic band that goes around yoru head for sound, sensors and all the components in it. It’s much larger than Google Glass but is smaller than the gaming VR headsets.

The HoloLens is an independent device that doesn’t need to be connected to any other device, such as phones or a computer. It is actually a computer built into the frame. It has a CPU, GPU and a HPU. That’s right, they created a new processor called HPU for Holographic Processing Unit. They didn’t go into much detail on what it actually does, no tech specs.

Now what the actual glasses can do. You will be looking through the transparent lenses to see the normal everyday world (boring). But the gimmic is that on the lens / sun visor like screen projected items appear. It does so in a way that it actually looks like those windows and items are in real space. This isn’t real holographs, but it is getting kinda close. As for what can be displayed, it’s any Windows App, various games, and even a 3D design program called HoloStudio.

HoloStudio is a very basic 3D design program that you put shapes together, glue, resize, rotate, and combine them. With the end result, you can send it directly to a 3D printer to be created which is nice. I doubt HoloStudio can be used to design anything complex, but people always seem to surprise me. In the future hopefully the larger 3D CAD programs such as AutoCAD will support HoloLens if it becomes a success.

For the actual specs of the hardware for the HoloSpec, they are unknown. They were just showing off a demo of the product that they had along with a video. In the video it appears that other people will be able to see what holograms you have by looking at the lenses of your glasses, so no escaping that meeting undetected.

I am looking forward for this device, but the price is probably going to be steep for the average user.