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Forget about Google Glass, Google has retired it anyway (the current version at least), and say hello to the Microsoft HoloLens which is like Google Glass but injected with some kind of superhero serum.

The prototype eyewear uses Windows 10 to screen high-def 3D holograms through the glasses which you can interact with, so you can wander around an augmented reality version of your apartment and play video games or work on that new motorbike you’re designing.

Or walk and talk while having a Skype chat. Or just transform your living room into a fantasy land so you never have to connect with reality ever again.

The technology uses motion-sensors to map the room you’re in and lets you control the holograms using hand gestures and voice commands. “The era of holographic computing is here.” runs the HoloLens website.

jpeg-2Holographic designs can be 3D printed using HoloStudio software

Microsoft-HoloLens-Family-Room-RGB1_TONEDYou can turn your living room into a video game canvas

The way the video plays, it looks like the technology is only a few steps away from being a Star Trek style holodeck. But what are they actually like to wear? Wired writer Jessi Hempel got to try them out in a fittingly sci-fi-esuqe manner, by going on a virtual trip to Mars:

Another scenario lands me on a virtual Mars-scape. [Alex] Kipman [Microsoft’s chief inventor] developed it in close collaboration with NASA rocket scientist Jeff Norris, who spent much of the first half of 2014 flying back and forth between Seattle and his Southern California home to help develop the scenario. With a quick upward gesture, I toggle from computer screens that monitor the Curiosity rover’s progress across the planet’s surface to the virtual experience of being on the planet. The ground is a parched, dusty sandstone, and so realistic that as I take a step, my legs begin to quiver. They don’t trust what my eyes are showing them. Behind me, the rover towers seven feet tall, its metal arm reaching out from its body like a tentacle. The sun shines brightly over the rover, creating short black shadows on the ground beneath its legs.

Norris joins me virtually, appearing as a three-dimensional human-shaped golden orb in the Mars-scape. (In reality, he’s in the room next door.) A dotted line extends from his eyes toward what he is looking at. “Check that out,” he says, and I squat down to see a rock shard up close. With an upward right-hand gesture, I bring up a series of controls. I choose the middle of three options, which drops a flag there, theoretically a signal to the rover to collect sediment.

After exploring Mars, I don’t want to remove the headset, which has provided a glimpse of a combination of computing tools that make the unimaginable feel real. NASA felt the same way. Norris will roll out Project HoloLens this summer so that agency scientists can use it to collaborate on a mission. (via)

lensThe HoloLens eyewear

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You can visualise what people are saying over Skype using HoloNotes

All that’s left to say is: Holy. Cr*p. Imagine the possibilities of this tech. In fact, you don’t need to because a bunch of clever people have done that for you in another video Microsoft released called Microsoft HoloLens – Possibilities. One word: WANT.

 

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But lets be honest here people, this is probably what Microsoft’s HoloLens is really going to be used for:

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