In case you missed the load of information coming out of the Windows 10 press conference yesterday, Microsoft is bringing their own spin to the slew of virtual reality headsets trending right now. Announcing the Hololens to the world, Microsoft is taking a step beyond the competition.
Before we get into the Hololens, let’s have a quick chat about the competition. Whether you’re talking about the Oculus Rift, Sony’s VR headset “Project Morpheus”, the Samsung VR Gear or any other competitor, the technology is all the same. In each of these headsets you’re looking at taking two screens, putting them in a closed space right in front of your face, adding a bubble effect and blurring the lines between your actual perception and this reality. Now don’t take this the wrong way, virtual reality headsets are fantastic and fun, but Microsoft’s headset doesn’t do this.
There are two major differences between these headsets in fact. With the Oculus and others, you’re obviously hooking yourself into a virtual experience, but it’s a complete virtual experience. Without a camera in front of the Oculus Rift, you won’t see what’s going on right in front of you. That’s a simple fact in VR – you close yourself off from what’s real for an experience like none other. Maybe not, says Microsoft, as the Hololens sets a new path, bringing augmented reality in a heads-up display. Similar to the way that Google Glass takes hold of your world and adds more useful content, the Hololens changes how you see the world around you, rather than replacing it. As a major degree of separation from the Rift yet again, the Hololens is a fully detached unit. With other VR headsets, where the Hololens claims to compete, you can’t go wireless or on the go in any way.
Thanks to a fully integrated system, including a central processing unit, graphics processor and a “holographic processing unit”, this all-inclusive headset will compute basic needs like weather and your activity, while rendering any augmented elements to the holographic screen, as well as monitor the depth properly with the holographic processing unit. Have a look for yourself in the video below for the full video as announced in the Microsoft presser just yesterday – thanks in part to YouTube user “GTAVOffice“.