Holograms are the next evolution in computing. With this vision in mind, hardware, software, and design came together to create the first fully self-contained holographic computer.
Microsoft HoloLens is the first fully self-contained, holographic computer, enabling you to interact with high‑definition holograms in your world.
Microsoft HoloLens, known under development as Project Baraboo, is a pair of mixed reality head-mounted smartglasses developed and manufactured by Microsoft. HoloLens gained popularity for being one of the first computers running the Windows Holographic platform under the Windows 10 operating system.
Microsoft HoloLens is made up of specialized components that together enable holographic computing. The optical system that works in lock-step with advanced sensors.
The HoloLens can trace its lineage to Kinect, an add-on for Microsoft’s Xbox gaming console that was introduced in 2010.
The pre-production version of HoloLens, the Development Edition, shipped on 30 March 2016, and is targeted to developers in the United States and Canada for a list price of $3,000.
Features Behind the tech
The HoloLens features an inertial measurement unit (IMU) (which includes an accelerometer, gyroscope, and a magnetometer) four “environment understanding” sensors two on each side, an energy-efficient depth camera with a 120°×120° angle of view, a 2.4-megapixel photographic video camera, a four-microphone array, and an ambient light sensor.
The HPU(Holographic processor unit) that makes light work of processing a large amount of data per second. All those components and more enable you to move freely and interact with holograms. Explained in video.
An Intel Cherry Trail SoC(System on chip) containing the CPU and GPU(graphic processing unit), HoloLens features a custom-made Microsoft Holographic Processing Unit (HPU), a coprocessor manufactured specifically for the HoloLens by Microsoft.
The SoC and the HPU each have 1GB LPDDR3 and share 8MB SRAM, with the SoC also controlling 64GB eMMC and running the Windows 10 operating system.
The HPU uses 28 custom DSPs from Tensilica to processes and integrating data from the sensors, as well as handling tasks such as spatial mapping, gesture recognition, and voice and speech recognition.
According to Alex Kipman, the HPU processes “terabytes of information” from the HoloLens’s sensors from real-time data.
The lenses of the HoloLens use optical waveguides to color blue, green, and red across three different layers—each with diffractive features.
A “light engine” above each combiner lens projects light into the lens, a wavelength which then hits a diffractive element and is reflected repeatedly along a layer until it is output to the eye.
Similar to that of many other optical head-mounted displays, the display projection for the HoloLens occupies a limited portion of the user’s field of view (FOV), particularly in comparison to virtual reality head-mounted displays, which typically cover a much greater field of view.