And a great alternative at that, if you judge by the response its promotional video is receiving on YouTube. With over 3 million views in the first 11 hours since launch, the geeks thirst for an immersive interactive experience is obvious, and it’s still encouraging developers to pursue the realization of the concept.
The enthusiasm does seem to have quieted down after the initial hype, but the comments show a general warm reaction. That’s not to say there aren’t many skeptics of course.
It has to be pointed out that Microsoft did show some interesting real-life usage scenarios. While the CAD design case may be specific to a very small target audience, I bet explaining to your mother across the country how to connect her TV set-top-box would be a huge time-saver. Provided, of course, you described to her in detail how to use the HoloLens last Christmas.
Project HoloLens Infographic Gives us an Overlook of How it Works
Microsoft’s Project HoloLens came out of nowhere – no one expected the company to join the VR/AR headset race, but Microsoft deemed it important enough to close its Windows 10 even with it. The headset promises both artificial reality (AR), overlaying virtual objects on the real world, and virtual reality (VR), which replaces the real world completely.
This futuristic piece of tech packs a lot of advanced functionality, but this infographic will give you a digestible look at how it works.
A lot of tech went into HoloLens – it’s powered by Windows 10, it has an array of sensors that stem from the Kinect and it’s self-contained and does all the processing itself. Since it’s Windows 10 devs can use the same development environment they’ll use for the new universal apps that run on both phones and desktops. Also, since it’s self-contained you won’t have clunky cables hanging around keeping you tethered to a computer.
The display itself is quite interesting – unlike the Super AMOLED found in the Oculus Rift, Microsoft’s headset uses three layers of glass (red, green and blue) to create holograms that appear at the desired distance. The headset also tracks your gaze and adjusts the image depending on what you’re looking at.
Project HoloLens has barely any hardware controls, instead it relies on hand tracking for gestures and microphones for voice commands. Multiple cameras track the environment and can see 120°-by-120°, a much wider field of view than the Kinect camera.