The launch of the Microsoft HoloLens was a discreet one and many were surprised by the announcement of its launch as they browse through their favorite publishing as they sip their morning coffee. The goggles deliver augmented reality as compared to the increasing trend of virtual reality. The device has come a long way from its prototype but it is still far from what you could call a consumer product. It is the tech company’s embodiment of their new vision for interacting with computers with the use of real world elements as compared to immersing the user in all-out computer-generated environment.
Step Into a New World While Keeping One Foot in Reality With the Microsoft HoloLens
At the time of writing, the Microsoft HoloLens is only available in the US and it is still under the guise of a “Development Edition.” It weight just 580-grams, and is a self-contained wearable version of the Windows 10 computer. Using the headset and it will able to map out the wearer’s environment while being able to display virtual objects while still being anchored to real-life items. The resulting experience is perhaps the best mixed-reality environment to-date. Furthermore, this is being done by a stand-along, untethered device.
Powering the HoloLens Augmented Reality Headset is a 32-bit Intel Atom processor, and along with Microsoft’s own Holographic Processing Unit (HPU). It uses data generated by an inertial measurement unit, a depth camera, and four spatial-mapping cameras. There are already some apps that can be used on this model in order to position the holograms without having to waste the device’s limited processing capabilities since it only uses the energy-efficient Intel Atom processor.
Because Microsoft took the path for having such a specialized processor, the tech firm did trade off some of the device’s flexibility for increased power and thermal efficiency. Nevertheless, this product would not be made feasible without such a processing unit. This is due to the form factor of the head-mounted device that puts serious constraints towards battery size as well as the heat that can be dispersed without causing discomfort to the wearer.
Even though it has its own set of limitations, the efforts placed into the Microsoft HoloLens amounts to one of the most impressive devices that you can see using current generation technology. While it is also still far from perfect, it has the ability to anchor apps and holograms into the real world with an amazing technological feat.