Microsoft debuts hologram goggles (w/ Video)

Microsoft debuts hologram goggles
Microsoft unveiled headgear on Wednesday that overlays holograms on the real world, in what it touted as the next generation of computing.

The US technology titan debuted its HoloLens capabilities built into its coming Windows 10 operating system and showed off goggles that let wearers use their hands to interact with virtual objects.

"Until now, we've immersed ourselves in the world of technology," Microsoft's Alex Kipman said introducing HoloLens at a press event at the firm's Washington state headquarters.

"But, what if we could take technology and immerse it in our world?"

Windows Holographic creates three-dimensional images in the real world, then lets people wearing the headgear reach out and manipulate virtual objects.

Kipman said he invited virtual reality innovators, including Facebook-owned Oculus VR, to explore adapting different applications for the goggles.

"Holograms can become part of our everyday life," he said.

Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella touted HoloLens and Windows 10 as a "mind-blowing" experience that will open a new type of computing.

"Today is a big day for Windows," Nadella said as Microsoft provided a look at its latest operating system at its headquarters in Redmond, Washington.

"We want to move from people needing Windows, to choosing Windows, to loving Windows; that is our bold goal for Windows."

Industry tracker Forrester predicts that what it refers to as mixed-reality computing will catch on by the year 2020, and include Internet giants Apple and Google weighing in with holographic offerings.

Millions of people will likely buy HoloLens by the end of next year, especially if Microsoft targets entertainment and particularly games who are proven early-adapters of technology, according to Forrester.

"If successful, HoloLens will ultimately expand the way people interact with machines just as the mouse-based interface did in the 1990s, and touch interfaces did after the introduction of the iPhone in 2007," said Forrester analyst James McQuivey.

HoloLens also has the potential to radically improve how firm's operate when it comes to collaborating from afar, training employees, and tending to work outside offices, according to Forrester analyst J.P. Gownder.

Microsoft executives Joe Belfiore (L), Terry Myerson and Alex Kipman pose wearing HoloLens eyewear that overlays 3D images on th
Microsoft executives Joe Belfiore (L), Terry Myerson and Alex Kipman pose wearing HoloLens eyewear that overlays 3D images on the real world, at a press event in Redmond, Washington on January 21, 2015

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Jan 21, 2015
It is a 3D display, but it is not a hologram. I guess they can call it anything they want - but it seems misleading and kind of a stupid name.

Jan 21, 2015
Don't mean to be a buzzkill, but leave it to Microsoft to turn something uber-cool like holo-goggles into the most uber-nerdy looking hardware possible. For Gates sake, just wear the box they come in why don't you. Given Microsoft's long history of orphaning hardware (other than mice and keyboards), I fully expect early adopters to be left at the techno-alter within the next product cycle. Hope I'm wrong, but I wouldn't bet my time and money on it.

Jan 22, 2015
What is the basis for your "end of next year" prediction?

It is a 3D display, but it is not a hologram. I guess they can call it anything they want - but it seems misleading and kind of a stupid name.

To be fair, at this point the projection mechanism is completely unknown.

Jan 22, 2015
If I read of such as a kickstarter project, I'd think it was a neat idea. If Microsoft sees this as nothing more than an adjunct to Windows 10, meh.

Microsoft often develops interesting hardware, only to turn it over to their marketing group, where it gets corralled into some strategic marketing activity. Which never seems to work out. Then, as AZWarrior notes, are abandoned, orphaned.

There's no guaranteed formula for success, but striving to provide open access to, and encourage use by the whole lot of creative minds outside Microsoft is an essential contributing factor. A seminal gesture: a Linux driver.

Jan 22, 2015
Whew! What could be more bread and circuses? Meanwhile our real physical economy is rotten. How about some desalination out there in lala land?

Jan 22, 2015
Unless the boffins at M$oft have had a major breakthrough: "HOLOGRAPHIC" is an invitation to a lawsuit if you buy into their stereoscopic eyewear.
Their concept video actually has the nerve to portray some of their virtual objects as solid and opaque.
Their marketing department needs sending back to school if they think they can project a black object in front of a light background.

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