Microsoft unveils HoloLens headset to project holographic images through see-through lenses

image Microsoft HoloLens

Virtual reality is becoming all the rage again, thanks in part to Oculus VR leading the charge for a technology that saw plenty of attention way back in the day.

And now that Microsoft is getting into the game with HoloLens, it’s a far assumption that the market is going to get even more crowded in the months ahead. The new headset, which uses see-through lenses to project a holographic image in front of the wearer, was unveiled during Microsoft’s media briefing on Wednesday, January 21. The headset is pretty advanced, according to Microsoft, and uses spacial sound along with plenty of advanced sensors to offer up a completely immersive experience to the wearer.

There’s plenty of technology shoved into the unit, too, including a high-end CPU and GPU, along with what Microsoft calls a “holographic processing unit.” As a result, Microsoft says the HoloLens can enable native holographic computing.

image Microsoft HoloLens2

The headset doesn’t require a phone to connect to, and there aren’t any wires attached to it for usage, either. The headset itself is running a version of Windows 10 that’s called Windows Holographic. The HoloLens can tell where the wearer is looking, too, so that the user interface can change depending on scenery or even where the person is looking. As a result, Microsoft has enabled a virtual display that can be interacted with, including the ability to launch apps.

In a short video demonstration of the headset, Microsoft outlined how a to-do list could be displayed on a refrigerator, or how a list of applications could be projected onto a wall for the user to interact with and launch what they want, when they wanted it. Microsoft also considered how maps, information related to weather and other topics, and even reminders could all be used with HoloLens.

image Microsoft HoloLens3

Perhaps one of the most interesting pieces of information regard the creation of the headset, because Microsoft had a secret relationship with NASA to bring HoloLens to life. The organization has been using the same technology going into HoloLens to allow its astronauts to walk virtually on the surface of Mars, and showed plenty of imagery of the Mars Rover.

Microsoft stated that HoloLens will be available sometime within the launch window of Windows 10 proper, so it is expected that the headset will see the light of day sometime before the end of 2015. However, as far as pricing and overall availability goes, that’s still unknown at this point.

What do you think of HoloLens?