Microsoft Unveils the HoloLense
Recently Microsoft stepped into the virtual reality space and unveiled the HoloLense. The HoloLense is a head-mounted augmented reality display. To be clear, it has nothing to do with holograms. That technology has yet to come to fruition in a feasible way. Essentially it takes information from the environment and projects images into your field of view. For example, you’re looking at the wall, and you can project Minecraft onto it. Now you’re playing Minecraft with your house.
Why HoloLense is Different
Based on early reviews, the HoloLense projects a beautiful, high resolution image on the world you’re viewing, and it does it well. You can look at a surface, and then create an image of a 3D model. To you, the image looks like its really right there on the surface. You’re able to walk around it, viewing it from all angles as if it really existed within a 3D space. Not only can you view the object as if it existed within a 3D space, you can also interact with said object. You can push it off the table and watch it fall to the floor, or pick it up and manipulate it.
The HoloLense also has a front facing camera for which Microsoft paints a very specific situation where this camera becomes usable. The example they use is performing a simple home repair. Within your HoloLense you have an open Skype window where you’re video chatting with someone. This person then gets a first person view of what you’re seeing through the HoloLense. This way, they are able to guide you through the repair, and see what you’re doing in real time.
HoloLense vs Oculus VR
How does the HoloLense compare to Oculus? While very similar, I feel their intended applications are very different. While the HoloLense can paint a virtual space over reality, the Oulus Rift is purely VR, no augmented reality at all. A HoloLense is also a computer as well as an augmented reality display. This makes the HoloLense a better candidate for getting work done. Whereas the Oculus would probably perform better for consuming media such as video games, or movies. Additionally, due to the fact that the Oculus’ goal is to completely immerse you, while by definition, the HoloLense allows you to see the world around you, the Oculus will most likely provide better presence and immersion.
The Bottom Line
The HoloLense is going to be an impressive addition to the computing arsenal. After you’re through getting work done with your HoloLense, you can strap on your Oculus and play some games.
-Shatter Buggy, Denver