While Samsung, HTC and Oculus have all tested the realms of virtual reality with their devices, Microsoft's HoloLens is the first to bring the truly futuristic experience that most people imagine when talking about virtual reality.
Indeed, its ability to blend computer rendered content with the real world is what makes the device so impressive but just how does Microsoft go about making holographic content for its unique product? According to the MIT Technology Review, the Redmond-based company uses a holographic TV studio, which allows it to recreate a world-like experience using computed generated content.
At the launch of HoloLens, the company demonstrated it by having animated content such as monsters appear on a table in the room and this type of content is what the studio helps to generate. The holographic studio has roughly 100 cameras, which allows Microsoft to capture a performance from many different viewpoints and create an accurate 3D model of the performance. It's this setup which gives the HoloLens its life-like experience and Microsoft refers to these models as video holograms.
Steve Sullivan, who works on HoloLens at Microsoft, demonstrated the video holograms at the LDV Vision Summit and said:
“There’s something magical about it being real people and motion. If you have a HoloLens, you really feel these performances are in your world.”
Sullivan went on to add that the company was looking at ways to make this practical and cheap enough for companies to use this in their daily business practices. If the company succeeds, it might one day be possible to visit a local studio and record a 3D snapshot of a child or person at a particular point in life.
Microsoft is expected to reveal more details about the technology used this coming summer so we'll have more info soon enough.