Microsoft’s HoloLens explained
It is a sleek, flashy headset with transparent lenses. You can see the world around you, but suddenly that world is transformed — with 3D objects floating in midair, virtual screens on the wall and your living room covered in virtual characters running amok.
Microsoft’s HoloLens is not actually producing 3D images that everyone can see; this isn’t “Star Trek.”
Instead of everyone walking into a room made to reproduce 3D images, Microsoft’s goggles show images only the wearer can see.
The goggles will track your movements, watch your gaze and transform what you see by blasting light at your eyes. Because the device tracks where you are, you can use hand gestures. The goggles also have a camera that looks at the room, so the HoloLens knows where tables, chairs and other objects are. It then uses that information to project 3D images on top of and even inside them — place virtual dynamite on your desk and you might blow a hole to see what’s inside.
The HoloLens is a bit different from the current leader in VR, the Oculus Rift. The Rift is built for immersive virtual-reality (VR) environments that pull you out of the place you’re in and plunk you into a new one. The HoloLens uses augmented-reality (AR) system, which takes what you can already see and adds a new interactive layer of computer-generated data.
These companies are on different roads to the same destination, which is trying to reimagine how we interact with computers. It sounds like science fiction, but if these devices work the way tech luminaries hope they can, such dreams may be reality sooner than we think.