Microsoft HoloLens 3D glasses can now be used to make holographic images, a startup says
Microsoft is announcing a new product it hopes will make the HoloLens virtual reality headset more useful for the visually impaired.
The company is introducing a new headset called the Microsoft HoloVision 3D eyewear that will let people take augmented reality images, which will be displayed on a display in the headset, and use them to make a 3D printed replica of a person or object.
The headset can also display 3D video or other visual content.
Microsoft will begin shipping the device in late April.
Microsoft’s HoloLens was first unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in May, and its development has been largely driven by Microsoft Research and other tech firms.
It’s not clear if the new glasses will be used by Microsoft employees, but the company says it has a limited number of them in development, which should help them get them in place quickly.
“While the company has been working on new technologies to help us deliver the world’s most immersive computing experience, today we are announcing the availability of the Microsoft Windows 10 HoloLens glasses,” Microsoft’s John Smedley wrote in a blog post.
“They can help us make the most of HoloLens’ capabilities and allow us to make 3D augmented reality experiences for those who are blind or visually impaired.”
Microsoft says the glasses work by taking photos and other data from the wearer’s face, neck, and head, and using a Kinect sensor to “project” 3D models of the wearer onto a display.
Microsoft says the devices also include a “lens” that lets users use the glasses to make virtual-reality 3D objects that can be viewed from the headset.
For example, you can imagine a hologram of a child or a dog on the display and use it to show the child a friend’s dog or a friend of a friend who looks a little different from the person on the glasses.
The company also says that if you don’t have a Kinect, the glasses can also “make 3D images and videos” of a face that can then be used for a 3-D printer, and a Microsoft Cardboard app will let you use them with an iPad, or any other device that can display 3-d images.
Microsoft says it’s not just the company’s glasses that will work with the headset in the future.
The glasses will also work with HoloLens apps, and if HoloLens is used with a Windows 10 PC, Windows 10 apps will be able to work with it.
In the future, Microsoft hopes the glasses will help people who have problems with seeing or hearing, and it will provide a new tool to make the technology more accessible to people with other disabilities.