back to article SCREW you, GLASSHOLES! Microsoft unveils HoloLens

Windows 10 will include full support for a new piece of Microsoft hardware – the HoloLens – Microsoft's first foray into augmenting reality with holograms. The HoloLens headset includes its own CPU and GPU, along with a third, "holographic" processor. The device has transparent eyepieces onto which can be displayed hologram …

  1. Matt Piechota


    Stylish, and see-thru lenses to boot!

  2. Greg J Preece

    This thing does look kinda cool, especially for someone who's been wanting to play with a Meta 1 since that company decided to screw developers around.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ur mom lets u have TWO GPUs?!!

  4. Khaptain Silver badge

    Hope they truly work

    Occulus etc have a major downpoint, they obstruct your normal vision, ie you no longer see the world around you.

    These on the other hand will probably remove the 'claustrophobic' feeling and actually add to realism.

    I really hope that they truly work and that this is not just a marketing toy..

    Looks cool, if MS really did engineer them then they deserve some kudos for this.. [ almost seems to good to be true]

    1. Gordon 10

      Re: Hope they truly work

      Me too. Although to be fair their Hardware is miles better than their Software these days. Surfaces are lovely, and the Xbone not bad either.

      Aint that ironic.

      1. LaeMing

        Re: Hope they truly work

        "their Hardware is miles better than their Software these days"

        This has been the case since they first got into the HW business (which is when no-one would make a keyboard with a Windows key on it for them, I beleve).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hope they truly work

          And now you can't buy a keyboard without that stupid key. :-(

          1. getHandle

            Re: Hope they truly work

            That's a good thing - the Super key is really handy on my linux boxes!

        2. Steve the Cynic

          Re: Hope they truly work

          "This has been the case since they first got into the HW business (which is when no-one would make a keyboard with a Windows key on it for them, I beleve)."

          You believe wrongly, unfortunately. Microsoft's first hardware product was an expansion card for the Apple II, released in 1980. And even if you restrict it to PC-compatible hardware, their mice date back to before the Windows-key keyboards, and the Mach20 board does as well.

    2. Kunari

      Re: Hope they truly work

      The purpose of the Occulus wasn't AR but VR. I hope both these technologies work out.

    3. Fungus Bob

      Re: Hope they truly work

      "Occulus etc have a major downpoint, they obstruct your normal vision, ie you no longer see the world around you."

      That probably isn't a Bad Thing for most geeks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hope they truly work

        I don't like Windows (at all), but I have to admit this is the ideal way of doing anything "virtual" with "3D". Of course, if you didn't have to wear the glasses, then we would finally be "there" (in time I guess). But, again, this is in my opinion the better "rift".

        Without further ado, I agree about their hardware being better than their software, even if it's made by a 3rd party!!

  5. Dan Paul

    Microsoft usually does..

    hardware properly. Never had an issue with their mice, joysticks, keyboards besides their drivers are somewhat bloated and don't like to coexist with the competitors.

    The Kinex product has fairly good reviews if not the Xbox. They even opened that up to other platforms.

    Will it work for software like Dassault's or Autodesks? That's where it could really shine.

    1. Richard Taylor 2

      Re: Microsoft usually does..

      Actually, despite some initial teething problems (overheating - which were dealt with by MS, post notional warranty), the XBox has been a decent platform. Decisions on charging for certain services that were free on the PS3 - maybe not so good. Their meece by the way were based on an HP technology.

    2. David Given

      Re: Microsoft usually does..

      Yeah, Microsoft's my go-to name for peripherals (he says, typing this into a Microsoft Internet Keyboard with a Microsoft travel mouse beside it). (No. I use Linux.)

      My Microsoft Internet Keyboard is years old. I use it a lot and it's shown no signs of wearing out --- even the keycaps are barely worn. Plus it's got some great design; undo a couple of screws on the underside and the entire top shell lifts off, keycaps included; you don't even have to unplug it, as all the electrical parts are in the base section.

      ...and then you put it in the dishwasher. Cleans all the gunk off the keys like a beaut. The keys unclip, too, and there are little troughs round each one to protect the electronics from coffee spills.

      It's a rubber-dome action rather than real keyswitches, but frankly I've never been that taken with keyswitches and I'm perfectly happy the way it is. It'd be nice if the internal USB hub was better than USB 1 so I could plug USB keys into it, but I think that USB 1 was all there was when it came out.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft usually does..

      yeah, fingers crossed.

      I honestly don't care about the practical applications here, just give me the games!!

  6. Innocent-Bystander*

    A new term to describe them?


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A new term to describe them?


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A new term to describe them?


    2. Bob Vistakin

      Re: A new term to describe them?


    3. Teiwaz

      Re: A new term to describe them?

      If they perfect the tech a little more. Lensmen

      I don't think they have the same use case in mind as Google glass, so unfair to tar the tech with the same brush.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward



    5. Bob Vistakin

      Re: A new term to describe them?

      Me toos

      1. LaeMing

        Re: A new term to describe them?


        1. phil dude

          Re: A new term to describe them?



    6. NumNum

      Re: A new term to describe them?

      This would be Augmented Reality as opposed to Virtual Reality

      I suggest ...ARsholes

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Someone has been dipping into old Analog SF stories. There was one about this very type of equipment and how the younger generation used it to live in a virtual world of their own making. Sorry I can't remember title and author but will look it up when I have time.

    1. Kunari

      Sounds like "Ready Player One" to me. :)

  8. Eddy Ito

    Looks nice. First app - digital "beer goggles". Second app - digital anti-"beer goggles".

  9. Andrew Tyler 1

    I want these.

    Of course I want these in the same way I wanted a Power Glove because it was so bad, but it looks more like an augmented reality thing than a virtual reality thing, so not quite the same as the Oculus Rift (plus all the internal rendering hardware etc). On the other hand, the Kinect was a really impressive bit of technology, so I don't doubt MS's engineering chops.

    I do want transparent OLED screens in my ideal VR goggles though, preferably with an ability to adjust the opacity via some liquid crystal filter whatsit. I want an Oculus Rift to play flight sim games, but they tend to have a billion controls, and I don't see myself ever being able to hit 'shift-alt-L' consistently by touch.

    1. Haku

      Re: I want these.

      After 20+ years, someone actually found a real use for the Power Glove!

      The glove needed a bit of hacking at first though, he now uses it to remotely control through bluetooth the camera shutter/playback during animating Robot Chicken skits:

    2. Jagged

      Re: I want these.

      "I do want transparent OLED screens in my ideal VR goggles though"

      - the VRs that are based on using mobile phones can achieve that through the use of the phone's forward facing camera

  10. Misky
    Thumb Up

    Better Than Life, here we come!

  11. JustNiz

    Wow. Have Microsoft finally just innovated something new instead of just repeatedly remarketing a worse version of other peoples products? If so, Good for them!

    1. Kunari

      "New" dunno, holo-lenses isn't a "new" idea. In any rate, it's a innovation on the Augmented Reality idea and looks like exciting tech if it works out.

    2. wayward4now

      Ohhhh! Nooooo!

      And I thought we could keep Microsoft off of Mars.


  12. MrDamage Silver badge


    HoloLens + Portal + Tab of Acid = Hours of fun watching people jumping into walls and hurting themselves.

    1. MIc

      Re: Potential

      Finally a comment I can really agree with.

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. YARR

    Will the batteries last a HoloDay?

    Will it take pictures called HoloGraphs, and watch movies in HoloVision?

    Will they bundle it with a game called: Holo the Master Chief Collection?

    Will the Doom port be called HoloDoomor?

    Will it be a success? Let's read the HoloScope...

    Sorry. My humor is just HoloBull.

    1. Phil.T.Tipp



  15. Nya

    Face it...

    it won't take off till the porn biz is developing for it!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Face it...

      >it won't take off till the porn biz is developing for it!

      So, we've got someone looking like Geordie gawping at Rimmer?! Yeuch!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Face it...

      But then?

      when porn comes as a holo i will be a happer human, no more stupid camera angles,

      But then we will need the "intreactive holo" then develop the holo deck and humans will never leave home, starvation, dehydradition, it will only stop when lack of funds causes the internet to be cut off or eviction or death, corpuses with smiles on there faces.

      there is somthing to live for, sureside posponed!

      hurry up I'm not getting any younger!!!!!

  16. Jan 0 Silver badge


    This article doesn't give the slightest hint about how these might be holographic. It seems that Microsoft doesn't either. Can the user really focus at different depths in a 3-D image, or is this just another stereoscopic display? Holography captures a whole light field, does this display generate a light field?

    The shape is nice and reminds me of my Casco Speedster, but I don't think I'd like too much augmentation when I'm out on the treadly.

    1. Daniel von Asmuth

      Re: Holographic?

      Holography captures the phase relations, making it different from light-field photography, There has been talk of holographic storage, but the hardware has yet to materialise.

  17. stucs201

    Anyone remember Courier (no not the font!)

    Let's hope this doesn't get cancelled before it gets beyond a promo video too.

    1. dogged

      Re: Anyone remember Courier (no not the font!)

      It's already beyond a promo video. Journalists at the event used it, for themselves.

      Also, Courier was never even officially acknowledged by MS. There were leaks and refusals to comment and then rumours and then more leaks and then a leak that Bill Gates canned it personally because it had no email client.


      There isn't even a promo video! All these articles from journos who say they tried it - notice MS took all their phones and recording devices away? Yeah. Then they either drugged them and made them all hallucinate exactly the same thing OR showed them all the spy footage they got on Kinect and blackmailed them to say exactly what Nadella wants them to say. It is all a fake lie to let the NSA read your post-it notes.

      Satya Nadella -> SN -> NS -> anyone?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Anyone remember Courier (no not the font!)

        "It is all a fake lie"

        What? Is that the truth?

        1. dogged

          Re: Anyone remember Courier (no not the font!)

          maybe I was channelling badly.

  18. Wyrdness

    Unless it uses interference patterns of light to create 3D images, then it isn't really holographic. I wonder if Microsoft could be censured for false advertising.

    1. HipposRule

      So you're expecting an eyeball on your iPad?

  19. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    Wonder how they work with glasses

    According to Google, about 60% of adults wear glasses at least some of the time. Does anybody know if any of the wearable displays work with glasses? I hate to think how these would interact with varifocals.

    1. dogged

      Re: Wonder how they work with glasses

      According to Peter Bright's write-up of the demo on Ars Technica, they are currently deeply uncomfortable with glasses but work without issue. The "ow, me nose" problem is being worked on apparently :)

  20. People's Poet

    No promo video?

    It amuses me how so many people don't know how much great R&D MS actually do. For example the digital table, oddly called Surface at the time.

    The possibilties for these glasses are fantastic. Kudos to MS for getting these to launch first.

  21. Mostly Human

    Killer app at last

    Seems like I will be taking advantage of the free upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10...

  22. Crisp

    I've already got app ideas!

    Although most of them are about turning my office building into a FPS game.

    1. dogged

      Re: I've already got app ideas!

      I think they can arrest you as a terrorist for that.

      Or in fact, anything.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Win10 - Obese from birth

    so Win10 comes with all these drivers that very few will actually need, no doubt there will be no way of uninstalling them and they will be loaded at startup just in case.

    Don't get me wrong, it's a cool bit of kit but Win12 will be out before anything like this becomes mainstream and in the meantime all those PCs will be donating diskspace and cpu time to non-essential crud.

    1. dogged

      Re: Win10 - Obese from birth

      as an API, no CPU time will be eaten if the API is not called.

      and disk space? Really? It'll fit on all WP8.1 devices (according to the briefing, all WP8.1 devices will be upgraded and all version of Win10 will contain this API) including the Lumia 520 with its 512MB or RAM and 8GB of hard drive and you're worried about disk space....

      OR desperately trying to find fault.

      One or the other.

  24. mmeier

    Looks good

    An AR system from MS that works with Windows - just what I was looking for. They can do hardware, their OS is the major player on the desktop and they are likely smart enough to separate the processing from the display when the battery power is found to be not good enough. "Does not need wires" is not the same as "can not use wires" after all and powerful mobile devices with 8+ hours endurance are something MS already builds with the S/P units. Just drop screen...

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    First rogue engineer to alter holo wearer to an arse

    So who will be first, google glass to detect a holo wearer and replace them with an arse or have MS already got a glasshole easter egg?

  26. Sprismoid

    Well, I still have my VPL and Virtual Research headsets from the early 90's and have been waiting patiently for the tech to "come of age" since then. To me it does seem as if we are really on the verge of the breakthrough we dreamed of when we were working with Division Transputer based parallel systems and then the SGI Reality Engine hardware way back then!

    Roll it on I say..

    I really want to get back into this business..


  27. osirisgothra

    Can You Say.... Microsoft Surface?

    Hehehe... remember when (for those of you that were protein strands back then, do not bother with this comment!) Microsoft Surface was first introduced and going to be the 'Revolutionary Technology' and how there was going to be a Surface Device embedded at every restaurant, bar, etcetera; in the world... we saw how that went (they basically got the ball stolen from them...) Now they are trying to reintroduce the VR helmet as a pair of glasses... that makes me spit out my drink... and it don't matter how many GPUs, CPUs, APUs or whatnot you put in it, if it stinks, it stinks... I love the old saying 'You can't polish a turd'... (even if the turd can be used do your math homework, would you use it?) Oh an sorry to all the teenagers not-in-advance, but, you guys are so naive anyway so comments from you wont really mean much.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like