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Up close with Microsoft's HoloLens headset

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Microsoft isn't letting the media take pictures of the HoloLens experience itself, but we just arrived at the company's demo station here at Build and there's a unit under glass. It looks identical to the press photos we've seen before, with a futuristic looking visor and the transparent glass that lets you see your environment while holograms project around you.

After introducing HoloLens at its Windows 10 event in January, Microsoft has been showing off more ways it envisions people will use it. Build is its chance to get developers on board with that vision, since they're going to be the ones to be creating software for it. Even so, Microsoft isn't sending anyone home from its conference with a unit, and instead brought a few hundred of them down to San Francisco for people to try.


The HoloLens is basically a self-contained computer, with its own dedicated CPU and GPU. There's also what Microsoft calls a holographic processing unit (or HPU) that tracks the environment around you, what you're looking at, and what you're doing with your hands. Microsoft is using see-through lenses in HoloLens to allow users to see augmented versions of their environment, similar to Google’s Glass headset. Packed into the headset are cameras for capturing photos and video, as well as numerous sensors and speakers that tell where your head is and feed you binaural audio to recreate the sense of sounds coming from certain parts of your environment.

We're about to take a closer look at HoloLens in action, so stay tuned for further impressions.