Microsoft today unveiled its foray into the hyper-competitive world of virtual reality, the HoloLens — a self-contained augmented reality headset that projects a digital world around the user.
Perhaps the most noteworthy feature, and one that immediately gives it a leg up on the likes of Oculus Rift and Sony’s Project Morpheus, is the fact that it doesn’t require any external processors to function, and instead acts as a standalone, head-mounted device. That’s largely down to the tech within the HoloLens; rather than immersing the user in a fictional space, Microsoft’s eye-catching wearable layers graphics onto the environment around you, a task that requires much less raw processing power.
Still, the company is quick to note that the HoloLens is no slouch itself, describing the kit as “the most advanced holographic computer the world has ever seen.” Hyperbole aside, the device does boast its own CPU and GPU, while a dedicated holographic processor handles the creation of the graphics.
During the presentation, the Redmond-based hardware giant showcased some of the ways in which the average consumer can utilize the tech, including a portable, adjustable window layered over your vision a la Google Glass, or rendering an entire projection of Minecraft before your very digitally-assisted eyes.
According to Microsoft, HoloLens remains in the nascent stages of development, but the company did note that the final product will be priced “for both enterprise and consumers to use it.” Further in the demonstration, it was revealed that the new-fangled hardware will also work in tandem with Windows 10 when it debuts, and Microsoft is currently aiming to have both properties on the market in and around the same window.
We’ll have much more relating to HoloLens over the coming months but for now, you can share your early impressions of Microsoft’s wearable device in the comments section below.