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Microsoft Details Windows Holographic and Hololens HMD with Xbox One Support

After a year of rumours and speculation, Microsoft has finally confirmed that it is developing its very own augmented reality (AR) head-mounted display (HMD) that could compete with the likes of the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus. That HMD is the Microsoft HoloLens, which runs with Windows Holographic and it appears to  be fully compatible with the company’s Xbox One console.

MicrosoftHMD_1

The company’s Alex Kipman made the announcement at a Windows 10 Briefing at its headquarters in Redmond, Washington. “We’re not talking about putting you into virtual worlds. Virtual reality might not be for everyone, we’re dreaming beyond virtual worlds.” The device is based on holograms, with videogames playing a key role. In a short video, a player was seen using Minecraft by bringing its world into the living room as a 3D hologram. Kipman spoke about using real holograms to become a part of every day life, assisting in work and more. He even encouraged Oculus VR to come and work with Microsoft making these holograms.

In the image above the hologram functions are on display, with one user wearing the kit to see a Roman Colosseum which another can also see through a tablet. An Xbox One is also on in the background and is display an image on a TV captured by the Kinect motion-sensing camera. The HMD is wireless.  No release details have been confirmed at this point in time.

Microsoft has had its name tied to virtual and augmented reality for a long time. The reveal of Sony Computer Entertainment’s (SCE) Project Morpheus HMD at the 2014 Games Developer Conference (GDC) promoted Head of Xbox Phil Spencer to state that it had been working with the technology for a ‘while’. More rumours spread when VR HMD company FOVE became involved with Microsoft and, most recently, VRFocus and TechSpy reported that several developers were working with an Xbox HMD that could be revealed later on in 2015. With this news, Oculus, Sony, Samsung and Mircosoft are all now major players in the VR space.

VRFocus will continue to follow Microsoft’s VR HMD, reporting back with any further updates on the kit.

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5 comments
  1. OMG. MS is about to screw up big time AGAIN!
    When will they realize that instead of trying to do something new, gamers want something great that they have been wishing for and expecting for a long time.

    As Jorgie pointed out AR and VR are two completely different things. While the entire industry moves to VR which is what gamers want due to immersion, MS thinks it will compete with AR tech? Ludicrous.
    AR and the HMD cited by Pete and shown elsewhere on the Net will not come anywhere close to competing with Morpheus or Occulus -as it is not immersive whatsoever. In fact I would argue it even detracts from immersion as it makes you focus outside the game back in the real world. Complete opposite of what is about to become hugely successful technology.

    Just like the XBO vs PS4 fiasco and the underwhelming specs, with 3 times+ higher research budget -this appears to be another HUGE FAILURE in the making.

    MS -Make Immersive VR. Period. You can worry about your non core audiance of AR users later -furst give us immersion or it may be the final nail in the coffin for Xbox as a MS brand -there is already talk of it being sold, this may make that happen…
    Not in Virtual Reality…
    Not in Augmented Reality…
    But in RERAL WORLD REALITY -and I would hate to see Xbox fail so bad again -whether perception or not -that is the perception. I have been strictly an XBO (and PC) gamer this gen but if the PS4 releases the Morpheus and Xbox does not release a true VR HMD either before or at the same time, I will personally jump ship and I don’t believe I will be anywhere close to alone.

    1. I do not agree. I’m a gamer, but i don’t like full immersion. I found most interesting AR

  2. I’m glad their doing something different we don’t need another VR headset. Also anyone who watched the Microsoft conference would realise that Hololens is not being marketed as a gaming device, but it will be an important category. The presentation showed the potential for Hololens is much bigger than just gaming.

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