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Ooo blimey folks, first ya had Oculus, then ya had Sony’s Morpheus headset and now Microsoft have only gone and gotten in on the Virtual Reality game too! It’s like the nightmares of technology have come back to haunt us again only, this time, they actually look alright!
‘Windows Holographic’ is the name and in the words of a Microsoft representative “We’re dreaming beyond virtual worlds–beyond screens.” The device is based on holograms and is apparently not intended to compete directly with products like Oculus VR. Microsoft have even invited their would-be business rivals to work with them, saying “Oculus, Magic Leap, Glass developers and everyone else, we humbly invite you–come create holograms with us,” which is a hilarious way to end a sentence.
The main component is the ‘HoloLens’ headset. Fully untethered, it has HD Holographics, spatial sound (Surround Sound, basically), a built-in GPU and CPU and, interestingly a ‘HPU’ or a ‘Holographic Processing Unit’. The HPU apparently helps the Hololens to understand where you’re looking, your gestures, your voice and also aids with mapping out your environment. It’s also pretty nifty as an acronym, fun to say out loud, try it! HUHPU.
The HoloLens will be a fully standalone device, won’t require a PC or any other extra stuff in order to use it. Microsoft aren’t talking release dates or anything right now, as you would expect. If the trajectory of other similar VR devices are anything to go on you can expect a lengthy pre-release prototyping process anyhoo. What I’m saying is it’s probably not coming anytime soon.