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Hands-on: Microsoft’s HoloLens is flat-out magical

It looked for every bit like the holographic projection we saw depicted in Star Wars and Total Recall. Except that's shortchanging Microsoft's work, because these virtual objects were in fact far more convincing than the washed out, translucent message R2D2 projected, and much better than Sharon Stone's virtual tennis coach. The images were bright, saturated, and reasonably opaque, giving the virtual objects a real feeling of solidity.

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The_Infected976d ago (Edited 976d ago )

Sounds awesome. In the WSJ article they said it would be out this year? I'm sure that's a mistake right?

no_more_heroes976d ago

That's what MS said during the event: "Windows 10 release timeframe".

The_Infected976d ago

I thought they meant in the time that Windows 10 is out as in before Windows 11 or whatever they call it?

4Sh0w976d ago

Well considering that its new tech with a self-contained computer, sporting a CPU, a GPU, a dedicated holographic processor, and some advanced sensors I'm sure its going to be expensive. Still if its priced within reason along with Minecraft, great apps and other appropriate games coming I'd certainly save a few dollars for it. Also some form of X1 tie in would be great.

WeAreLegion976d ago

They said it will be in the hands of developers this year. It would be nice to see it available for consumers this year, but I don't want them to release it before it has a good amount of software to go with it.

MeliMel976d ago (Edited 976d ago )

@4show, yes, seems very expensive. What are you willing to pay for it?

Seeing what Ive seen and how engaging and impactful this can be on everyday life,not just gaming. I cant see it being less than $250. I would honestly buy it at even $399, call me crazy. I think its worth it. No one has showed something like this.

All Im thinking about, is when David went into the ships chamber in Prometheus and the Holographic scene was going and towards the end of the scene earth is floating on his hand. We are gonna be able to do the same thing..this is awesome.

fr0sty976d ago

I'm definitely interested in it for PC use, but I'd have to see some apps that would appeal directly to me first.

4Sh0w976d ago (Edited 976d ago )

MeliMel I honestly dont see this priced like a console. I'm expecting price tag upwards of the Google Glass neighborhood...about $2500-$3000 or a bit more I mean the tech what they are doing is far more advanced...its got to be hella expensive to get so much tech in a small headset. Which btw they havent done yet.(The demo version is much bigger than the glasses pictured on stage). I expect this to be priced similar to other expensive professional computer devices like graphic artists use.

Maybe the after its been on the market (if its successful) by the 3rd or 4th version you will see $800-$900 price range but I think this is going to be a expensive gadget. This is not going to be a casual kids toy or similar console price product. In fact IF this AR device works standalone in the real world as demoed its business and education potential alone is going to be very appealing for early adopter techies and many types of professionals....sort of like how a $3000 teleconference projecter is small change for a business/professionals/univers ities. Seriously I dont think this is aimed at the mass market for now so Id be shocked if this cost less than 2k at release.

I didnt own Google Glass because beyond just being a cool little gadget there wasnt one must see app or anything to do with them but Id possibly buy these if proven to have something really inovative to do and play with.

UKmilitia976d ago

i think they meant it will be released within the time of windows 10(before 11)

bouzebbal976d ago (Edited 976d ago )

i know what they showed are just tech demos most of them but what really puts this VR ahead of the competitors is the possibility to interact with your virtual world while being in contact with people around you.
What would be great is to focus this VR on non gaming purposes to attract most people because i only see it as a gimmick still.

donthate976d ago

@abzdiine

"i know what they showed are just tech demos most of them but what really puts this VR ahead of the competitors is the possibility to interact with your virtual world while being in contact with people around you."

Technically it isn't VR, and AR as shown. The difference being you can interact with the world around you. To get a VR experience out of the hololens you have to completely cover up the "outer world" which should in theory give you a similar if not identical experience.

"What would be great is to focus this VR on non gaming purposes to attract most people because i only see it as a gimmick still. "

Everything is technically a gimmick until wider adoption. VR is still in it is't infancy and even if it was successful for gaming it likely would still be considered gimmicky.

However, with AR I see huge potential there to expand that significantly i.e. it would be the next mobile phone. People will no longer carry mobile phones, just a pair of glasses once they get it small enough the same way we carry "tablets" instead of computers.

RedDevils976d ago

so what happen to windows 9?

Unspoken976d ago

"Windows 10 will be released within a year."

=/=

"HoloLens will be released within the Windows 10 timeframe."

Support Cycle (average, including extended) ~5-10 years to EOL

ABizzel1976d ago

@MeliMeli

It's good to be optimistic, but this HaloLens is going to be EXPENSIVE. A regualr VR headset like Oculus is aiming for $299. HoloLens has an addition CPU, GPU, and Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) all included in that headset on top of tradition tracking components in a VR headset. This thing is going to be over $1,000.

donthate976d ago

abizzel:

Those additional items will cost very little, because they are all semiconductor parts. Question is does the HoloLens have a screen?

That is usually what costs the most, and two of them would make it rather expensive.

I'm expecting a $399-499 price tag on launch for early adopters.

Syntax-Error975d ago (Edited 975d ago )

IT'S NOT JUST FOR GAMING, NERDS! The product is supposed to fit all facets of life. It's for training, education, presentations, gaming, developing, drafting, graphing, teaching, social media, ect. Just like when they started making gaming consoles. Since day one Bill Gates said "I am not making a game machine. My goal is to make an ENTERTAINMENT HUB." While you fools laughed at him when he started w/ the console going online to making it interact with your TV it was his vision from the beginning. Sony has always played second fiddle because all Sony cares about is raw power. When they bought the Kinect technology, you fools thought it was just for gaming, but they had bigger plans for it. Welcome to the future you narrow minded nimrods. What will Sony do now? Copy as usual. Like the auther said "MS DID NOT follow what everyone else was doing." That's called innovation. While Apple was copying GoPro with their new camera or copying features from 2 year old Samsung technology to buying headphones from Beats, Sony was losing money for the fiscal year(TV and Computers Division) and MS was buying technology to turn sewer water to drinking water. And you call them STUPID? Who's the dummy?

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BallsEye976d ago (Edited 976d ago )

and here I thought that the trailer was just a "target tech demo". Actually it was all real. Atleast seems so from nasa videos and from all the hands on. THat's too good to be true...I need it now :o don't care about the price.

GT67976d ago (Edited 976d ago )

seen commercial yesterday ,very interesting. but the hologlasses would only be marketable to gamers into Yugioh dueling or first person shooter type games .
p.s.
is this MS response to Sony's morpheus ?? imo... rather go with MS Hologlasses to bad Sony did not go with it for PS4 would been Awesome ....

imo

nX976d ago

For gaming uses, I prefer VR to holograms tbh.

marlinfan10976d ago

@bloodborne

You most likely haven't used either, definitely haven't used hololens, yet somehow you know you prefer VR? Going off your name, I never would've guessed

MelvinTheGreat976d ago

@Bloodborn

You've tried both then?

SuicideKing976d ago

lol @bloodborn If only Sony came out with AR...

MrCrimson976d ago

@Bloodborn You've clearly never owned a virtual boy.

MrCrimson976d ago

@Bloodborn

You clearly never used a Virtual Boy.

MrCrimson976d ago

@Bloodborn

You've clearly never used a virtual boy.

raymantalk1976d ago

@SuicideKing

sony has done AR psvita does it also nintendo has done it too

seems to me that all MS has done is taken what others have done and applied it to a headset nothing new imo.

4Sh0w976d ago (Edited 976d ago )

AR or VR, first they have to get a good product on store shelves then the market will decide which is better....even then I suspect if they have some quality apps and software there will be a place for both, if not they'll be really nice gimmicks, and eventually cool paperweights.

@raymantalk1
"sony has done AR psvita does it also nintendo has done it too

seems to me that all MS has done is taken what others have done and applied it to a headset nothing new imo."

-Seriously if this doesn't interest you thats fine but I really don't understand your point. Unless you can provide links to the contrary those examples are nothing like this Hololens demo. Its like saying "well some guy in his garage experimented with flying planes before the Wright Brothers" or "iphone wasn't anything special we had cell phones before that" or in a 500 years somebody like you will say "well traveling to a new solar system isnt anything special since man has already landed on Mars"...or whatever my analogies might be a bit off but the point is vastly more amibitious tech is exciting, its how we evolve and the old "its been done before" doesnt give credit to very hard working smart people who are in the arena *doing new things based on old ideas that never reached their true potential. 99% of new innovative tangible products were born from past failed or not fully realized attempts....the credit belongs 99% to whoever MADE a great product that millions of consumers want to invest in.

rainslacker975d ago

They're both different types of technologies. They do different things, and for the time being a VR environment isn't possible with a holographic lens. There is no way to block out the light completely in a holographic lens and have it work properly(Some colors would be changed. and for a VR environment it wouldn't be VR if you could see what's around you.

Maybe MS found a way to have a blackened holographic lens projection, but seems like that would make the thing even more expensive.

OTOH, from the demo pictures I've seen, this doesn't look like any holographic technology I've ever seen. Holography just isn't advanced enough to create a photo-realistic image. Looking at it, it appears more to be a layering effect over whatever is in the room, possibly using the processors for determining depth fields. Think about any real hologram you've seen, has it ever had solid colors that didn't shimmer? This is where holography is today because the technology used to create the image has that side effect. Even the most expensive holographic screen(which these aren't) have a shimmer to them, and the images are not opaque.

Anyhow, this would be more like how most implementations of AR are done nowadays, in which case, the cost of these glasses may be a lot less than some above are speculating.

raymantalk1975d ago

@4Sh0w

i was not saying it was not good or clever i was merely pointing out that it has been done before so getting annoyed wont win you anything sorry if i hurt your feelings :)

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XanderZane976d ago

I don't think it will be out this year to consumers. Developers haven't even gotten their hands on it yet. They are shipping to developers this year, which means we probably won't see anything concrete until E3 2016. From the previews I've read of developers and tech guys who have tried it, it's getting a lot of positive reviews.

IcicleTrepan976d ago

yep, supposed to be to developers this spring.

joefrost00976d ago

If people remember the 40 page document roadmap that got leaked before the xbox one came out it them coming out for Xbox one in 2016

SuicideKing976d ago

I can't see this coming out to consumers this year. Also, they need to make it "work" when it is released. If it is released with bugs etc. people could be turned off of it right away. But this is really exciting. When I was watching the live stream I legit said out loud, wow! I can't wait to see more or be able to try it out by myself.

frostypants975d ago

So will it or won't it be an Xbox One peripheral? I don't really have any interest in hooking something like this up to a desktop rig.

k3rn3ll975d ago

I dont see any reason why it couldnt. Especially since its renderers are in the headset. But alot of people are acting like this is gonna be VR games for using it. Other than smaller games, like minecraft and puzzle games and stuff. It wont have any individual AAA games for it. But you could use it while playing AAA games on you pc or xbox. And use the Hololens to display the UI around your screen rather than on it. Maps, health bars and stuff. Id imagine there are tons of uses that could be imagined for that alone. But it will get its fair share of standalone games for it alone. I wouldnt say the possibilities are endless, but there is a ton of stuff that this can be used for in gaming. And they way MS is backing the Xbox with all their power as their "entrance to the living room," i dont think we have to worry about this NOT being a Xbox peripheral. Its as close to a sure thing as you can get

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no_more_heroes976d ago

It seems people are generally impressed with it.

Metallox976d ago

I was genuinely impressed by it, that teaser was amazing, and I never say this stuff about technological devices. Hopefully Microsoft can turn it good, I don't want other Kinect because the HoloLens look promising.

Well, perhaps I'm exaggerating, but I really like the idea.

moldybread976d ago

yes, except for the usual people who bash everything that microsoft does have now simply vanished. kinda nice.

personally i think it's a cool concept and is more interesting outside of gaming.

k3rn3ll975d ago

oh dont worry, if MS has a mis-step with this, no matter how small, they will be back in full force ready to crap on it. Saying, "see, I said all along that this thing was overhyped and destined to be a disaster." Like they alkways do

mkis007976d ago (Edited 976d ago )

Im impressed because I thought of it last year, and how cool it would be. Then I see it this week almost exactly as imagined.

Mine though was both VR and AR with the ability to block out the things in the world it didnt want you to see. You could walk down a sidewalk with my version on and know exactly what is around you (safety) while at the same time be in a completely new environment. The sidewalk could be metal, or the wall to your left could be glass, the possibilities !!!

I really think ms knocked this one out of the park as compared to say kinect or project morpheus.

Can't stress it enough how well MS seems to have done on this one.

Edit: upon further reading this may be EXACTLY as I had imagined it.

IcicleTrepan976d ago

the thing is, they've been working on this for 7 years.

mkis007976d ago

That is not my point, ice, my point is seeing something that I would have made given the chance made for me, instantly...no waiting involved. There haven't been any real leaks of this.

Its like me wanting a flavor to exists and then finding out a day later it now exists!!

daxter1919976d ago

I am disappointed.

Augmented Reality is an old technology already available on portable console and smartphone and there are already other AR Glasses available.

mkis007976d ago

these ones according to those who have tried them have no movement shifting, the overlay stays where it is supposed to, that is new

beans976d ago

How about some links? Not trying to call you out but I would love to see a device this ambitious already out and available. VR itself has been out for many many years but I don't think It's disappointing that companies are trying to bring it to life.

daxter1919976d ago (Edited 976d ago )

@beans

Look "AR Glasses" on Google

ThinkThink976d ago

The same could be said about VR Technology. I remember using VR at E3 over 10 years ago. It's all about the content and what you do with it.

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4Sh0w976d ago

-Good write up from his hands on experience:

"Microsoft calls it holography. I'm not sure if it really is (Wired describes HoloLens' "light engine" as having a "grating," so perhaps it really is using interference patterns to reconstruct light fields rather than providing the same simple stereoscopic 3D found in VR systems), but this is a detail that only pedants will care about. (Though if it is true holography, it should solve the focus issue that many people find with existing 3D systems.)

However it works, HoloLens is an engaging and effective augmented reality system. With HoloLens I saw virtual objects—Minecraft castles, Skype windows, even the surface of Mars—presented over, and spatially integrated with, the real world."

-Very interesting new hardware/tech Microsoft has shown, I'm sure they have a ton of patents in place and aren't going to share any trade secrets but I'd really like more details/explanation on the basics of this tech actually works. Just curious....either way I'd sure like to try those demos.

Naga976d ago

All registered patents are publicly available for viewing; the rights to use the patent, however are restricted to the owner for a period of 20 years.

Trade secrets are simply that - secrets. Their only protection is found in their secrecy. Think: Coca Cola's recipe.

So if you want to know how a patented device works, you absolutely can. Just in case you didn't know that already. Cheers.

4Sh0w976d ago

Thanks bro...guess Ill do some research in the next few days to get a basic understanding of whats behind this tech...granted its highly technical stuff but I should be able to sift through it for something understandable.

pompous976d ago (Edited 976d ago )

It's nothing more than augmented reality with MS pr spin thrown in. Impressive use of already in used tech we've been using already. Obviously with other tech or other ways to go about the same tech- different patents.

Kavorklestein975d ago

What a fitting username you have.

rainslacker975d ago

I really don't think it's holographic at all. The images I've seen are way too solid to be holography. Holograms, no matter how they're produced are not completely opaque, and have a shimmer to them that is perceptible no matter how good the display/projection is. This is a by product of the technology used to create holograms, and unless MS came up with something new, which means this device would be super expensive, there is no reason to believe that this is some magical hologram projection.

My guess is that the images are being super-imposed onto the viewers field of view by the software taking depth fields of all the object(possibly on the pixel level) and making it look integrated into the environment.

That is how AR is done today for the most part, MS just has a twist by taking it off a display screen and sticking on people's heads to be more compelling.

That's a good thing IMO, because AR never stays interesting very long when it's just on a screen. The practical application available with this technology is kind of exciting as a game dev, and I could definitely see it benefits in education or presentations. Only time will tell if devs and gamers will pick it up as a new way to play games.

I'm assuming some things of course, and I may be wrong. If MS comes out with more information on the actual tech involved that negates my assumption then I'll be even more impressed than I already am with the tech.

christocolus976d ago

cant wait to try it out for myself.

vega275975d ago

Im with you..I want this but not just for gaming. I hope MS adds GPS support for people who drive out of state this would be awesome for me. Since I do some traveling with my company and they rent me a car.

aviator189976d ago

damn. pretty much everyone is impressed by hololens.
here's to hoping it's priced right.

Moldiver976d ago

I think it will be cheaper than VR headsets, personally.

The_Infected976d ago (Edited 976d ago )

Microsoft may take a hit and absorb the loss just to get this out so it can be a success. That or like you said it may be decently priced.

I don't see how they can pack all that tech into the prototype on stage. A CPU, GPU, HPU, and decent battery? Seems like a lot of tech for such a sleek headset. Anyways I'm excited for Hololens that's for sure!

Pandamobile976d ago

I dunno, there'a lot of on-board processing happening in a device like this. I see this device being more around high-end smartphone range in price.

TFJWM976d ago

Umm that would be nice but I don't see how it could be cheaper than Google glass

MelvinTheGreat976d ago

Its tough to say because MS wants the people who play minecraft to buy and they wont buy it is upwards of 1000+ dollars. But on the other had the tech is extremely impressive would seem to be very expensive to make.

Moldiver976d ago

"Umm that would be nice but I don't see how it could be cheaper than Google glass"

Umm...I said "cheaper than VR headsets". What is it with people on this website having terrible comprehension skills?

hololens does not pack two screens in its visor, or the tech needed to power two screens (one for each eye) The cost of the CPU inside is anybodies guess, but MS have already said its a low power consumption device, So doubt it is running much more than an ARM based chip, especially given the size of the headset.That would make sense. low heat generation and low power consumption are ARM traits. but only MS can clarify those specs. We will just have to wait and see.

TFJWM976d ago (Edited 976d ago )

My reading comprehension is fine, thank you. Use common sense... Google glass is over 1k, every indication has been the VR headsets would be priced under 500. Even if they are more than they are are 100% likely to be below the cost of Gglass

Also they have not demoed a working prototype at the size they showed, its alot bigger. So to make it that size anytime soon would increase the price even more

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