Microsoft's HoloLens Is "Something Different" Than Oculus or Morpheus

Company says existing VR technologies are "truly exciting," but HoloLens is different.

132 Comments
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Existing virtual reality technology such as Oculus Rift or Project Morpheus are "truly exciting," but they aren't direct competitors to Microsoft's new HoloLens technology, according to a company representative.

No Caption Provided

Asked if Microsoft viewed Rift and Morpheus as competitors to HoloLens, a Microsoft spokesperson said: "Today's efforts in VR and AR are truly exciting. What we are talking about is something different."

The Microsoft rep went on to explain what the company thinks will set HoloLens apart from other virtual reality and augmented reality technologies.

"Holographic experiences on Windows are about delivering a mixed reality of both your digital world and your real world," the spokesperson said. "We are integrating holograms into the world around you--transforming the ways you create, connect, and explore. We hope holographic experiences on Windows 10 will help drive continued innovation in this category."

These comments tally with those from HoloLens designer Alex Kipman, who suggested yesterday during the Windows 10 event that Microsoft wasn't intending to compete directly with established VR companies such as Oculus.

"Oculus, Magic Leap, Glass developers and everyone else, we humbly invite you--come create holograms with us," Kipman said.

For more on HoloLens, check out the video above and the image gallery below. And check back later for GameSpot's impressions of the HoloLens technology.

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megakoresh

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I doubt it will be anything like what the PR will try to make you believe. Simply because to process the world outside in realtime with such precision requires a lot of processing power and a tremendously expensive camera, in order for it to work reliably. Chips may be getting cheaper, but cameras aren't. You need a camera that is able to instantly adjust to lighting conditions, take footage in outside and in very dim rooms with very good contrast (otherwise you can't place the anchor points for the software to track).


So yeah, don't get excited, this a good attempt and Microsoft are good for supporting the development of this technology, but it has a long way to go. Also imagine how ridiculous you'd feel chipping away at air with that ugly thing on your head! XD


I think we'll either have to somehow invent ways to make real holograms (because everything anyone advertises is fake, a real hologram is one that actually hangs in 3D space and you can see it with naked eye, walk through it, etc.), or not at all.

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Klyern

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<< LINK REMOVED >> its good to be skeptic but if its anything like the pr makes it to be then at least microsoft knows what it got its hands on, its true that its not a direct competitor to the other two, and from a domestic/everyday life point of view its a more alluring product that you can use more often or in a more continuous manner without repercussion...


so yeah, its wait and see, but im betting on this one for now, not like Nerv Gear will become real just like Shinra did anyway :P

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gorzul

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I'll be shocked if its even 1% like what the trailer shows.

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ericb601_

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Try 100%! Because it is REAL!!!

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abhisheknerdy20

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You win again microsoft

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FKlepackiFTW

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Yeeeeeessssss

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Kutastha

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They've said nothing here to distinguish themselves from most other AR tech companies. As far as I can tell, they're using a transparent, heads-up display that overlays content on the world in the same way as just about everyone else. If anyone has a claim to being different from the others, it is Magic Leap, which allegedly uses digital light fields to beam the content directly into the user's retina and claims to be able to produce near-to-eye-resolution quality.

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phbz

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The PS4 is far from having the necessary power to run good VR, and the general PC market it's also far from it. Don't know if this will succeed or not but MS seems to have the right tech at the right time. I must say that I'm a little surprised that they are actually doing something that makes so much sense.

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lah30303

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It's obviously different from those things. This is more akin to spaceglasses except microsoft has more money to throw at it. Microsoft might be pulling off an Apple here, acting like they're the first to come up with this innovative new technology when really they'll just be the first big company to do it.

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Inquisitha

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This is going to be a stepping stone toward Future. AR would be amazing as a enhancer for reality. Lets say that all keyboards are made without letters or space for adverts that are made with only one color. With the technology at your fingertips you will be able to prioritize what you see on those adds (for example through Google Adds) and you will see a highlighting of your keyboard, you might not even need a keyboard if you can have a connection between your AR headset and computer.

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Flamerdragon

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Why would I want this?

Besides that it is cool.


Only use I see for it, is either for playing games, or pretending to be Tony Stark.


I am not bashing it.


I just wouldn't add it to my everyday life accessory. Probably needs charging, updates, and do not like walking all day around the house wearing that.


It is cool though, it is different.

But do not like the whole picture of looking into a house and see an entire family wearing these.


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Balrogbane

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This thing is either going to be really cool or really lame.

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bobodeclown

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Looks like a nice piece of tech. While VR tech such as Morpheus looks promising, it's still got a ways to go before it becomes functional on a regular basis. Holo lens appears to bridge the gap between what is available now, (Google glass) and where VR wants to go eventually. I think this could progress at a much faster rate than VR tech though.

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Sl4cka

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Just like radio does not want to become tv, VR is not striving to become AR.

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tonyleo01

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Funny a friend and I were just talking about the AR HMD the other day. If the real product is anywhere in the same ballpark as this vision video, it would truly be a game changer.

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JimmeyBurrows

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I was confused, but now I get it! It's just silly marketing jargon, it is the same as AR, probably able to use it as a VR peripheral as well (with some slight modifications.)


Still looks interesting, if they aren't exaggerating too much.


Noticing the lack of images of the device itself (plenty of the back of it.) Makes me think it's probably nothing more than a concept, which without anything to follow it through makes the announcement a bit pointless and misleading.

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ericb601_

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<< LINK REMOVED >> NASA is using it right now!

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Khasym

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Everyone, I must point out a very salient fact about this trailer; it's false. If you notice, the images of the icons and games and models, are all shot and framed from the perspective of the camera FOLLOWING the actor with the device, rather than the actor themselves. This is the same artistic design used on movies like Minority Report. Very visually striking, but nowhere indicative of what the device is supposed to be capable of performing.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not sitting here expecting MS to drop the full view of this tech now. But this is supposed to be a commercial for a piece of tech. It should at least show SOMETHING that tech can actually do, even if it's just one thing. Not a movie trailer of what it COULD do. Especially when MS is touting it as something completely different than Oculus or Morpheus.

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kentray1985

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They did say pretty clearly that this was a vision of what the tech could be. I don't think anyone was dumb enough to think the trailer was showcasing the actual product for you to clarify that it's not real. If you read the article and watch the trailer it made sense. No one can really judge it until it has been shown off officially with a hands on presentation but just the thought of any of that stuff shown in that trailer becoming reality would be a total game changer.

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Khasym

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<< LINK REMOVED >> True, but that's the point. The trailer itself isn't what HoloLens can do. It's what it MIGHT do. That's a massive difference. I've only heard of something like this being done with two games: Aliens: Colonial Marines, and Duke Nukem Forever. Like HoloLens, both games advertised for not what could be done NOW at the commercial's timeframe, but rather what they might do in the future when the tech and times catches up with them.

Again, if they showed ONE thing, that HoloLens could do NOW, that didn't need further testing or tech or programming to accomplish, even if it won't see a launch for two years, I'd be really impressed. But it's like seeing a car advertisement that says "And when this car comes out, you'll be able to dream while you drive, because we'll handle all the little details of driving that you have to concentrate on." It sounds very futurist in outlook, but it doesn't actually say HOW the car's going to do that, or WHEN it's coming out. Big ideas are great to have. But this isn't an idea that's coming. It's an idea of an idea that might come in the future. If that's what people are looking for, just go play the Shadowrun RPG. :-) We've been dealing with AR, VR, and Full Sim in that game for decades.

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kentray1985

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Oh believe me I understand you but I trust MS a whole lot more than the company who made those games. I mean man instead of knock it think about the possibilities first. There was ppl at that event that had hands on with the device. They were excited about it so atleast that's some confirmation that this thing is no joke. We can't judge this now but you must admit the possibilities is definitely something worth checking out the device for. Heck if they could even expand this tech even further than what the final product will be I'm all for it.

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Sl4cka

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<< LINK REMOVED >> But it is different compared to Oculus/Morpheus. Those are VR, this is AR. Neither is better than the other, but different, yes.

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Sl4cka

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"Oculus, Magic Leap, Glass developers and everyone else, we humbly invite you--come create holograms with us," Kipman said.

Yep, drop everything you've done so far and spent millions on, and start a new project because MS asked politely... mmmkay...

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kentray1985

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Ok and what exactly are you yapping about?

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console_war_vet

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<< LINK REMOVED >> I think you misunderstood them. They're not specifically asking Oculus VR and Google to help them, it's more of an invitation for 3rd parties creating content for those other VR devices.

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Flyin3lvl

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?.....

now i understand why they wanted minecraft so much ....... think how many peeps have that game and seeing that ..... system seller and excluisve to this tech...........


but all in all they couldnt even make a kinect work properly.......

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kentray1985

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The kinect 2.0 does work properly and like all devices they need to be upgraded and expanded to maximize the possibilities. I think one word to explain it better for you would be "innovation".

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Homey_D_Clown

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Impressive, most impressive!

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jimthev

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At some point in the future, AR and VR are going to be ubiquitous. The faster that future gets here, the better.

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Khasym

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Remember the days of Atari, ColecoVision, and Intellevision; of the ADAM and the VECTREX, of the Virtual Boy and the ROB, before you pine for the ushering in of new technology. :-) Right now, I'm seeing what I saw in the late 90's in regards to 3d rendering headsets; a lot of flash, a lot of marketing hype, and nothing substantial on the table yet.

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jimthev

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<< LINK REMOVED >> I do remember those and I liked the Virtual Boy and Intellivision was fantastic for the time. In any case, put on an Oculus on your head and then tell me the experience is the same as shutter glasses. It is an order of magnitude more intense. Time will tell on MS AR, but they probably have to increase the FOV for a production model. Then again, I haven't put one on my face yet so I don't know jack about it other than what I got from two test user articles.


I've chosen to go play in the street with the kids rather than tell them to get off my lawn.

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wookietim

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This really does seem to be a tad different, if I am reading it right, than Morpheus, Google Glass or The Occulus Rift.


First off, it seems to be a full on computer in and of itself. Those other ones are peripherals for your game system or phone. That's a pretty major distinction.


The bigger difference, though, is that MS seems to be saying that they have mixed in the idea of gestures and cortana smarts into it. That's pretty major - the closest is Google Glass and even that one is voice activated only and so doesn't integrate well with full on apps. That could be a real game changer - I have always been reticent about these things because the use of them seems limited. But if you have a complete computer in this that can understand gestures as well as voice then that becomes Tony Stark level stuff...

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hellgast0

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Now all we need is an AI that can talk back to you :P

Cortana is a start, but I want Jarvis!

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CoolManMick

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Maybe it's not a good idea having them talk back. Unless your looking to argue with the AI or listen to it go on and on all day. lol

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hellgast0

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Considering their product isn't VR, it should not be seen as competition.

Saying it's not AR is obviously an overstatement, these aren't holograms as they aren't projected, they are probably rendered images with a 3D mechanic attached to it.

It's still cool tech and I am excited to see more from it.

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pork7

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The carefully crafted advertisement looks great! Sadly, microsoft has a LONG history of false advertising and deception. Sorry billy-boy, I aint buying your bullcrap anymore.

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valuum

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Lots of comments saying "Ohemgee video so fake marketing +1". The actual stage demo looks pretty good to me.

<< LINK REMOVED >>

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IndependenceYou

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LMFAO, this video is such bloatware. I love the idea, but it will be NOTHING! like this for yearsss. Anyone can make a cgi video on a crazy idea. Making it actually look like you show is a COMPLETELY different story hahah.
Cool though, Good Luck Micro.

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kentray1985

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You don't know that until you've tried it out for yourself sir.

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BuzzLiteBeer

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Very misleading video although very inspiring and very well put-together. I also don't see why Microsoft needs to explain how hololens is different. It's clearly more of a productivity and utility device than a VR experience.


But until there is a tech demo and user feedback, I find this all overly ambitious even in this day and age.

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mnkpro1

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>

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TristanPR77

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Microsoft's hologram looks like a cool tech demo but I don't see it being used on the mainstream. In fact, it looks like the kinect cycle once again.

Also, AR can't provide the immersion that VR provide. I am still more interested in VR for gaming than AR.

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bobodeclown

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It can be quite immersive, as has already been proofed by the people that have tried it. It's also much less bulky than the VR headsets out there. There are advantages to both, and both could be used for gaming.

This is nothing like kinect though.

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hellgast0

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Where does it say this is for gaming? Or for immersion?

Just see it as another PC/device, they explained in the video it is NOT an attachment.

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BusterFriendly

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The old 3D googles are a 90s failed concept. It will fail again due to the unavoidable ergonomic issues. Heads up displays aren't exactly new either but they don't suffer from the blind to world issue.

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Blank3k

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This thing has huge potential, for everything ... people that have tried it say it actually works (while still heavily a work in progress) I just hope they can release it for at a price point where everyone can pick it up and try it out without having to break into there kids college fund then cry themselves to sleep when it doesn't live up to its £1000+ price tag on launch day.

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MondasM

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very nice looking exponentially potential gimmick with no practical use or ability to use as depicted... cool story bro...

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hellgast0

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<< LINK REMOVED >> A wireless pc you can use practically anywhere... standing, sitting and still keeping your hands free, yeah not useful at all....

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