What is the Microsoft Hololens? - dummies

What is the Microsoft Hololens?

By Ashley Watters, Abshier House, Abshier House

The Microsoft Hololens is a stand-alone holographic headset. Designed for comfort, this apparatus offers a new way to visualize your world. The Hololens uses an abundance of sensors to help you interact with reality, using holograms to blend your ideas with the real world. Specifically designed to be used on the Windows 10 platform, it seems as though the sky is the limit with the Hololens.

Tough to imagine? Just check out Microsoft’s website to experience the Hololens.

What would you do with the Microsoft Hololens? [Credit: © Flickr/Jorge Figueroa]
Credit: © Flickr/Jorge Figueroa
What would you do with the Microsoft Hololens?

Experiencing the Microsoft Hololens hardware

The Hololens is a compact unit that houses an immense amount of computing power. The sleek headset is comprised of the following components:

  • Holographic processing unit (HPU)

  • Top-of-the-line CPU (computer processing unit) and GPU (graphics processing unit)

  • Inertial measurement unit (IMU)

    The IMU includes

    • accelerometer

    • gyroscope

    • magnetometer

  • Advanced sensors

  • A microphone array

  • A photographic video camera

The advanced optical system works in tandem with the sensors to provide a “mixed reality” experience. The sensors process a huge amount of information to allow you to project holographic images onto the real world, as seen through the view of the Hololens. This system is an integration of gaze, voice, and gestures to allow for interactions unlike any seen before.

Qualifying for the Microsoft Hololens

Microsoft expects to roll out the first of the Hololens Developer Kits in the first quarter of 2016. Applicants can request a kit for $3,000 per device, with a limit of two per application. In order to be considered for one of the initial Developer Kits, you must

  • be a developer in the United States or Canada

  • be a Windows Insider

  • understand English (the Developer Kits are currently only available in English)

Want to be one of the first to receive a Hololens? You’ll need to be a part of the Windows Insider Program. This program is an initiative by Microsoft to encourage actual businesses and developers to test drive Microsoft’s latest software and devices.

What will you get as a Microsoft Insider? You get access to early releases, such as the Hololens. You also get to help shape the latest and greatest Microsoft products. In addition, developers have the opportunity to provide input on the most recent apps, devices, and hardware. This is your opportunity to tell Microsoft how you would use the Hololens and offer real-life applications for the next wave in computing.