Microsoft has shown off its own wearable tech headset – the HoloLens – as part of its latest Windows 10 announcement.
It describes the device as ‘the world’s most advanced holographic computing platform’, which is powered by Windows 10 and lets users bring HD holograms to life by viewing them on nearby surfaces or objects.
HoloLens adapts to the wearer’s movements, vision and voice, allowing them to interact with content physically.Users can even create their own holograms and share them with others, and a program called HoloStudio will let them turn holograms into real physical objects with 3D print compatibility.
There are no wires on the HoloLens – but instead a transparent lens and sensors allow the wearer to see holograms and move around them. The headset is adjustable to fit any adult head size and built-in spatial sound lets you hear holograms wherever they are in the room.
— Microsoft (@Microsoft) January 21, 2015
Microsoft says HoloLens offers "a more efficient way" for people to express their creativity, teach and learn, and "a more effective way" to visualise work and share ideas.
"As holograms, your digital content will be as real as physical objects in the room. For the first time, holograms will become practical tools of daily life," said Microsoft in a statement.
"Microsoft HoloLens goes beyond augmented reality and virtual reality by enabling you to interact with three-dimensional holograms blended with your real world. Microsoft HoloLens is more than a simple heads-up display, and its transparency means you never lose sight of the world around you. High-definition holograms integrated with your real world will unlock all-new ways to create, communicate, work, and play."
Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will soon be exploring Mars using holograms of Mars Rover images, and the HoloLens will allow them work as if they can walk on the surface of Mars.
"We envisioned a world where technology could become more personal – where it could adapt to the natural ways we communicate, learn, and create, and where our digital lives would seamlessly connect with real life," added Microsoft in a statement.
"Holograms will improve the way you do things every day, and enable you to do things you’ve never done before."
Check out a video of the 3D print aspect of the HoloLens in action: