Microsoft unveils Windows 10 and holographic goggles

By Matt Bradwell  |  Jan. 21, 2015 at 4:15 PM
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REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Microsoft looked aggressively toward the future Wednesday, unveiling specifics about Windows 10 on the same day Wired published a profile detailing the tech giant's ambitious Project HoloLens.

"Today really is a monumental day for Windows," Terry Myerson, head of Microsoft's operating systems unit said in announcing Windows 10's upcoming features.

"Windows 10 is so much more than the latest version of Windows. Windows 10 changes the rules of the game."

Windows 10 will simplify the touch interface currently in use on Windows 8.1, usher in the formal death of Internet Explorer in favor of Microsoft's simplified Spartan browser and give users the ability to create additional desktops on the fly. Additionally, Windows 10 will bring Cortana, Microsoft's Siri-style digital assistant, to PCs and tablets.

And to holographic displays.

"Ultimately, you know, you perceive the world because of light," Alex Kipman of Microsoft's Studio C told Wired.

Kipman is using the simple concept that sight is only interpretations of photons reflected off objects to lead Studio C in developing Microsoft's first holographic computer.

"If I could magically turn the debugger on, we'd see photons bouncing throughout this world. Eventually they hit the back of your eyes, and through that, you reason about what the world is. You essentially hallucinate the world, or you see what your mind wants you to see."

Kipman, who invented the technology that went on to be mass marketed as Xbox Kinect, sees the future of computer interaction as relying on the "analog universe," meaning the real world, not digital screens. Project HoloLens' prototype, Project Baraboo, shifts toward the analog universe by sitting in front of the users eyes and relaying images and information over whatever or whomever happens to be physically present, similar to Google Glass.

Although no release date, price or actual product name has been given to Microsoft's holographic headset computer, Project Baraboo currently runs Windows 10, and Microsoft plans to have the prototype in the hands of developers by spring 2015 so they can develop apps the Studio C team can specifically integrate into Project HoloLens.

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