What is Microsoft HoloLens and mixed reality?

HoloLens is a mixed reality headset based on the new Windows Holographic software platform. Mixed reality is a combination of augmented reality, virtual reality, and holograms. Augmented reality involves augmenting the world by overlaying information and content, while virtual reality replaces the real world through complete immersion. Holograms are special for blending digital content seamlessly into the real world with 3D models and spatial mapping.

Holograms can be 2D or 3D, and remained pinned to their location, whether it be a wall, table, or floating in the air.

The HoloLens is unique for its mixed reality capabilities. It is an incredibly impressive piece of technology that is completely untethered, meaning it requires no wires or external components. A full Windows 10 computer with battery is contained in the headset. It has an array of sensors and a HPU “holographic processing unit” to spatially map its environment. HoloLens continuously scans your surroundings to keep track of changes and the positions of all walls and furniture. This keeps holograms pinned to real-world locations like walls or tables. The display is transparent, allowing the user to see the real world blended with holograms.

Microsoft HoloLens development kit

The HoloLens also has 3D, positional audio speakers. The user interacts with the device through voice commands, head movements, and hand gestures. It is currently a $3,000 development kit. The Garage has two to facilitate development of mixed reality applications and to give students a glimpse into the future of computing.
For more information: https://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-hololens/en-us/why-hololens

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