Microsoft's recent TED Talk on the HoloLens has some incredible new demos

HoloLens and Microsoft Windows logo
HoloLens and Microsoft Windows logo (Image credit: Windows Central)

In February, Microsoft's Alex Kipman, the head of the company's HoloLens project, made a TED Talk that showed off a number of previously unreleased demos for the augmented reality headset. Now that TED Talk has been officially posted in a video that showcased those new demos.

The video, as shown on Microsoft's blog, shows Kipman using the HoloLens to see thinks like virtual landscapes, simulated houses and more. It also shows the first public look at a two-way HoloLens chat, with Kipman talking with Dr. Jeffrey Norris, from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, while also seeing a life-sized virtual version of Norris, who also happens to be standing on an accurate representation of the Mars landscape.

During the brief Q&A following Kipman's speech, he was asked about the differences between the field of view of the simulated HoloLens demo, as shown from an outside camera, and the real ones that can be viewed in the headset. Kipman said:

I've purposely ignored it, because ultimately, it's the wrong question to ask. That's the equivalent of me showing holograms to someone for the first time, and you then saying, "What's the size of your television?" The field of view for the product is almost irrelevant. What we should be talking about is the density of lights, or radiance, that shows up. Better said, what the angular resolution is of the things that you see. So from that perspective, what you saw -- you know, the camera is wearing a HoloLens. So even if I wanted to cheat, I can't.So in short: to be super crisp, the camera that you see on the screen has a wider field of view than the human eye. But the angular resolution of the holograms that you see, the points of light per unit of area, are actually the same.

Microsoft has reportedly already started shipping the first wave of units for the $3,000 HoloLens Developer Edition to pre-orders.

John Callaham