VR? Meh. Microsoft is going the holodeck route with something called Project Hololens. These are holographic glasses and they will be coming out around the same time as Windows 10. Man, this sure looks awesome and cool, and it’s probably also janky and questionably useful! We’ll find out first-hand soon though; Microsoft will be showing off the tech to attendees later today.
Hololens is no Oculus. First, it’s untethered. Everything is in the headset; that includes a CPU, a GPU, and something Microsoft is calling a Holographic Processor. HPU? Also, this isn’t about throwing you into some VR screen-in-front-of-your-face cave. Hololens is about putting virtual things all over your real life, like Google Glass but somehow uglier and bigger but also better better. Exactly the experience we’re hoping to see with the mysterious Magic Leap.
As a Windows 10 device, the Hololens should also be able to run any app that a Windows 10 PC or phone will be able to, so long as there’s some holomagic UI programmed in. That could help make it easier for cool shit to come to these insane goggles whenever it is that they launch. For now, we’re stuck with basic tech demos.
There’s the promise of much, much more though; Microsoft is already working with NASA to use the Hololens to drive the Mars rover Curiosity, somehow.
Microsoft is understandably super keen on the potential for this thing, they’re calling it “the next PC.” That’s a big promise — especially when it involves wearing something like this out and about and staring at things that aren’t there — but god my cold cynical heart hopes they are 10,000 per cent right. No word on price yet, which is a gigantic missing detail.
Wired has had exclusive hands on with the new headset and it sounds promising if not really KNOCK YOUR EYES OUT OF YOUR FACE awesome quite yet. So until we try it out in person, here are a bunch of pie-in-the-sky pictures of what Microsoft thinks this will be like.