Computex: Microsoft has opened up HoloLens, says partner products are coming soon

HoloLens products from partners will start to appear within the year, Microsoft said

Microsoft has opened up the platform behind its HoloLens augmented reality device, inviting partners to build their own products in different form factors and at different price points.

It means companies such as Asus, HTC and other Windows partner can now build devices for augmented reality and virtual reality using Microsoft’s technology.

HoloLens smart eyeware can layer virtual objects on top of the real world. Unlike virtual reality devices such as the Oculus Rift, a person wearing HoloLens can still see the world around them, because the virtual objects are projected onto a clear display.

Microsoft sees Windows Holographic, the platform behind HoloLens, as a way for people wearing different AR and VR headsets to communicate with each other in their respective virtual environments.

HoloLens Microsoft/IDGNS

In a promotional video Microsoft released Wednesday, one person wearing a HoloLens “appears” in the virtual world of a person wearing a VR headset, and the two converse.

"There's such a commonality between VR and AR that devices in both spaces need to share experiences, so we’re calling it mixed reality," Terry Meyerson, the head of Microsoft's Windows and Devices Group, told reporters at Computex in Taipei.

The potential for communication between devices seems not to be limited to those running Windows Holographic: the VR headset in Microsoft's video is the HTV Vive. Microsoft apparently worked with HTC to make the Vive and its own VR software interoperate.

It's not disclosing business terms yet, but Microsoft will presumably license the technology, which is calls Windows Holographic, in a similar model that it uses for Windows and PCs.

Its goal is to create en ecosystem of many different types of Windows Holographic devices, one in which they share common interface elements and can run the same applications.

Windows Holographic includes “a holographic shell and interaction model, perception APIs, and Xbox Live services," the company said. It won't provide more details until a WinHEC conference it plans to hold this fall.

HoloLens is currently available only to developers. Microsoft has been marketing it primarily as a tool for business users and it’s priced at a hefty US$3,000.

It wants its partners to build products at different price points and with different levels of sophistication, Myerson said.

A common criticism of the HoloLens is that it gives only a narrow field of view, something Myerson was about in Taipei.

“There will be partners who build devices with a wider field of view than HoloLens, I’m sure of that,” he said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags computexMicrosoft

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?