Microsoft just released a fully functional, Terminator-style HUD for HoloLens

If you’ve watched any movies about killer robots, then you have seen the stereotypical Terminator-like heads-up display. It’s usually oddly colored to connote non-human vision and it flashes various threat assessments and other information across the robot’s field of view.

Setting aside the question of why a walking computer would require a visual display of the very same information that is already contained in its memory, the Terminator HUD is a staple of science fiction movies and TV. Now, Microsoft has posted a tutorial on how to create your own using HoloLens.

This is no mere graphical representation of a HUD, however. Not only does HoloLens make for a realistic augmented reality (AR) mockup of the T-800 Terminator’s visual field, but the interface can be hooked up to Microsoft Cognitive Services to analyze objects in the physical space — including face detection and limited optical character- recognition (OCR). In other words, it’s not just a gimmick. It’s actually (kinda) functional.

microsoft posts tutorial creating terminator hud using hololens
The thermal head-up-display (HUD) featured in James Cameron’s 1984 film The Terminator

Microsoft has put the HUD together as more than just an entertaining exercise. The company is exploring how new technologies are moving beyond the 2D interfaces that have dominated our computing for so long. Input devices, displays, office spaces, and furniture have all been focused on 2D, while modern technology is moving toward 3D and even one-dimensional (1D) interfaces.

The Terminator HUD project combines 3D and 1D to create a “new type of experience that may one day lead to virtual personal assistants that will help us to navigate our world and our lives.” Heady stuff, for sure.

If you have access to a HoloLens and a variety of development tools, including Unity and the Holo Toolkit unity package, then you can follow along and create your own robotic vision of the world. Specifically, you will be putting together a recreation of the T-800 thermal HUD display — but note that Microsoft did not testify as to its effectiveness in searching out Sarah Connor and ensuring the future existence of Skynet.

Emerging Tech

Facebook builds virtual homes to train A.I. agents in realistic environments

Researchers at Facebook have created Habitat, which is a platform that enables rapid training for A.I. agents. They will receive thousands of hours of training in just a few minutes in the virtual homes.
Computing

A dual-screen device from Microsoft is in the works. Here's what we know so far

Would you be interested in a dual-screen Surface computer? The Surface Centaurus is a Microsoft project working on just that -- and Microsoft already has a prototype. Here's all the important information on Centaurus!
Gaming

E3 2019: All the games we expected to see, and some we didn’t

E3 2019 is the biggest gaming event of the year. It will be loaded with new game announcements and details. These are the games we expect to see at E3 2019, and the games we won't see.
Computing

AMD's latest RX 5000 Navi graphics cards are incoming. Here's what to expect

AMD unveiled its first three Radeon RX 5000 GPUs: The RX 5700, Rx 5700 XT, and RX 5700 XT 50th Anniversary Edition. Starting at $379, these GPUs are designed on AMD's new Navi architecture to take on Nvidia's RTX 2070 graphics.
Deals

Amazon cuts prices on Microsoft Surface Pro 6 and Surface Go

The Microsoft Surface series is an excellent alternative to other tablets if you're a dedicated Windows user, and the superb Surface Pro 6 (our favorite 2-in-1) and its cheaper sibling, the Surface Go, are both on sale right now.
Deals

Amazon sale drops deals on Microsoft Surface laptops

Despite an increasingly crowded market, the sleek Microsoft Surface laptops have left their mark. Both the Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 and Surface Book 2 are discounted on Amazon right now, too, with deals that can save you up to $300.
Computing

AMD’s Ryzen one-two punch will end with a 64-core Threadripper in 2019

AMD's Threadripper may be set to deliver the killing blow to Intel in Q4 2019, with a rumor suggesting a new Zen 2-based Threadripper line is coming down the pipe with a top chip that has as many as 64 cores.
Computing

If you need your laptop to be large, these ones are most in charge

Whether you're in the market for a mobile workstation or a gaming behemoth, there's probably something in the 15-inch form factor that can fit the bill. Here, we've rounded up the best 15-inch laptops available.
Computing

Need more pixels? These 4K laptops have the eye-popping visuals you crave

If you're looking for the best 4K laptops, you need to find one that has powerful internal hardware, and doesn't scrimp on weight and battery life. All of these 4K notebooks are great options, but which one is the right one for you?
Photography

What’s the difference between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic?

Lightroom CC has evolved into a capable photo editor, but is it enough to supplant Lightroom Classic? We took each program for a test drive to compare the two versions and see which is faster, more powerful, and better organized.
Computing

HP's Spectre x360 is a better 2-in-1 than Microsoft's Surface Laptop 2 is a clamshell

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 is a refresh of Microsoft's clamshell option, an oddity given Microsoft's creation of the modern 2-in-1. The HP Spectre x360 13 is, therefore, an interesting comparison.
Deals

Amazon deal drops prices on Asus VivoBook laptops and 2-in-1s

Asus is one of the premier PC brands cranking out Windows ultrabooks today with its sleek VivoBook series, and these Amazon deals let you score one for $700 or less. Read on to find out what we love about these laptops and how you can save.
Deals

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Leaked date and what you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a month away, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.
Computing

Air, Pro, or just a MacBook? Here's our guide to finding the right Apple laptop

Apple's lineup of MacBooks has started to swell, leaving fans a bit confused about which laptop they should buy. Depending on what you're looking for, we'll point you in the right direction.