Microsoft’s HoloLens headset drops digital creations into real life

Yes, headsets like the Oculus Rift and Gear VR have their own takes on augmented reality, but Microsoft is going beyond virtual worlds with the announcement of Windows Holographic and Windows HoloLens.

It’s a holographic world, after all

Windows Holographic is, at its core, Microsoft’s take on augmented reality, but it utilizes holograms. Powering it all is Microsoft HoloLens, a headset that the company describes as “the most advanced holographic computer the world has ever seen.” The HoloLens headset is equipped with see-through, holographic lenses. It projects holograms that are powered by an unspecified CPU and GPU, alongside a dedicated holographic processor. The HoloLens headset incorporates spatial sound, which allows you to “hear” holograms around you, as well as a wide array of sensors.

Best of all, the headset works independent of other devices, so there’s no need to tether it to a phone or PC.

The video presentation for the HoloLens headset showed some ambitious visions of the future. It gave us an idea of what it would be like to play Minecraft in your living room, Skype and watch live TV from any surface, or walk alongside the Mars Curiosity Rover during a tour of the Martian surface. The HoloLens even shared a glimpse of new ways to show off the latest 3D design of your company’s product with a fellow employee.

Build holograms with Holo Studio

While Microsoft certainly invites developers to try their hands at developing applications for the HoloLens headset, it decided to write an app of its own. Called Holo Studio, the app lets you create a hologram by utilizing a Windows 10-like user interface. You can pinch to zoom and reach out to touch elements of the UI, such as the tools to change color.

Additionally, there are voice controls to do things like copy content and enable rotation. When you’re done with your masterpiece, you can have it 3D printed, seeing as Holo Studio is the equivalent of a holographic preview.

It’s still early in development

With all things considered, the HoloLens headset is still early in development. Even so, Microsoft announced it will be made available “in the Windows 10 timeframe.” More information on the HoloLens will be revealed during Build, Microsoft’s annual developer conference.

In the meantime, Microsoft promised everyone in attendance would be able to try Holographic and HoloLens, so stay tuned for our hands-on coverage. The announcement video is below for your viewing pleasure.

Mobile

The best CES 2019 health gadgets combat stress, pain, and more

We can all use some help with our health and CES 2019 was packed with intriguing devices designed to combat pain and stress, help you monitor blood pressure, reduce tinnitus, and care for the sick or elderly.
Computing

Microsoft to separate Cortana from search with the next version of Windows 10

Changes are on the way for two key features in Windows 10. A separation of Windows 10 search and Cortana will allow Microsoft to more often innovate on each of the features independently.
Computing

Could the next Microsoft HoloLens be announced at MWC 2019?

After not having a presence at Mobile World Congress for three years, Microsoft is now sending out media invites for a press conference on February 24 during the annual event in Barcelona. Could a next-generation HoloLens be on the way?
Computing

How to share an external hard drive between Mac and Windows

Compatibility issues between Microsoft Windows and Apple MacOS may have diminished sharply over the years, but that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared. Here's how to make an external drive work between both operating systems.
Computing

Printing to PDF in Windows is easy, no matter which method you use

Microsoft's latest operating system makes it easier than ever to print to PDF in Windows, but there are alternative methods for doing so, even if you want to forgo Adobe Acrobat. Here's how.
Wearables

One night with this sensor on your head could change your sleep forever

Get past the fact you’ll be in bed with a sensor on your forehead, and the Beddr SleepTuner may be the first step in curing your sleep problems and improving your overall health.
Wearables

Think this smartwatch doesn’t have a screen? Think again

This looks like a regular chronograph watch, but it holds a secret: It's really a smartwatch and even has a hidden screen, which is revealed only when you need it. We took a closer look at CES 2019.
News

Digital Trends Top Tech of CES 2019 Award Winners

5G. A.I. Voice assistants. Metaverse. Yes, metaverse. CES 2019 slathered on the buzzwords thick and heavy, but beneath the breathless hype and bluster, there were amazing products to back it up, too. Except metaverse. C’mon Nissan, you…
Mobile

You'll soon be able to pay for goods with the Motiv smart ring

Remember Motiv's activity tracking smart ring? It's back with a raft of new features that adds biometric identification and token authentication, all on a device that fits on your finger.
Product Review

Mobvoi beefs up the battery on its affordable Ticwatch E2 and S2 Wear OS watches

Mobvoi is known to offer excellent, low-priced Wear OS smartwatches. At CES 2019, the company unveiled new entries into its Express and Sport range -- the Ticwatch E2 and Ticwatch S2.
Product Review

Garmin’s 4G LTE VivoActive 3 keeps you safe when you’re out on the trails

Garmin takes its already great VivoActive 3 Music fitness smartwatch and adds a 4G LTE connection, courtesy of Verizon. The watch now has streaming music, independent GPS, and best of all, SMS support and various safety features. We’ve…
Deals

Before buying a Fitbit or Apple Watch, check out these fitness trackers under $50

Fitbit and Apple Watch are top of the line when it comes to fitness trackers but if you want to save, we have alternatives. If 2019 is the year you keep track of your health and budget your expenses, then take a look at these fitness…
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: heat-powered watches, phone cases with reflexes

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!