Microsoft Debuts 84-Inch Surface Hub Touch Display, HoloLens Augmented Reality Headset

Alongside officially debuting Windows 10, Microsoft today unveiled two new futuristic hardware products, the Microsoft HoloLens augmented reality headset, and the Microsoft Surface Hub, an 84-inch 4K touch screen tablet with multi-touch and multi-pen support, dual camera, and advanced sensors.

The Microsoft Surface Hub runs a version of Windows 10 that's been adapted for the huge 84-inch display, and Microsoft showed the device being used in workplace meetings, as a hub for communication. The screen was used for making drawings and notes, and content projected to the Surface Hub was then shared to all people on a Skype conference call. The Surface Hub was also demonstrated using various Microsoft apps adapted for a larger screen.

surfacehub

Microsoft Surface Hub, image via The Verge

Microsoft has not announced pricing, but the Surface Hub is aimed at enterprise users and is likely to be quite expensive.

The company's second major product debut was the Microsoft HoloLens, which is a headset that uses holographic see-through lenses to allow its users to see and interact with holograms in an augmented reality environment. The HoloLens has spacial sound and advanced sensors to capture location information, allowing for a totally immersive holographic experience, and it has a built-in high-end CPU and GPU, as well as a "holographic processing unit" that processes information and data from the headset's sensors. "HoloLens enables native holographical computing," said Microsoft Kinect developer Alex Kipman.

hololens
There are no wires or external connections, and there is no need to have a phone or PC to use the HoloLens. Running a version of Windows 10 called Windows Holographic, the HoloLens knows where a user is looking, providing a virtual display that can be interacted with to launch apps.

In a video, Microsoft showed a holographic view that saw a virtual to-do list projected onto a real refrigerator, and a set of quick-launch apps portrayed on a wall for easy access. It was able to display virtual maps, reminders, and information like weather, all laid over a real view, with Microsoft promising it delivers "new ways to visualize work."

With HoloLens, a Skype conversation could be projected on a wall, or people could play a holographic version of Minecraft. "Imagine an architect walking around their designs while clients are viewing it from a remote location," said Kipman.

On stage, Microsoft demoed something that it calls Holo Studio, which can be used to design personalized 3D creations in just minutes, which can then be 3D printed. The Holo Studio was used to create a full-on quad copter in just a matter of minutes, which was fully functional.

hololensdisplay
Microsoft's holographic computing was also demoed with the Mars Rover, as Microsoft has had a secret partnership with NASA developing the HoloLens. "We've had the great honor of partnering with one of the most innovative organizations in history," said Kipman as an immersive image from the Mars Rover was displayed on the screen. NASA's been using the technology to allow its scientists to walk on Mars.

According to Microsoft, the HoloLens will launch during the Windows 10 timeframe, which means that it could be available for purchase at some point later this year. Attendees at Microsoft's event today will be able to give the HoloLens a try immediately in Microsoft's lab. More information on the HoloLens will be available in April at Microsoft's Build Developer Conference.

Related Roundup: Apple Glasses

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
75 months ago
Meanwhile in Cupertino, where Apple's sitting on more money than most countries have, they've...

...determined after years of making 11" notebooks and 13" notebooks, that really, they should make 12" notebooks.


Awwwesooome.
Score: 103 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
75 months ago
Some sour grapes noted from some posters.



You have to give credit where it is due. MS made some exciting announcements about some very exciting new products.
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
75 months ago

Meanwhile in Cupertino, where Apple's sitting on more money than most countries have, they've...

...determined after years of making 11" notebooks and 13" notebooks, that really, they should make 12" notebooks.


Awwwesooome.


Not that we don't know what is going on in Cupertino's secret labs but the last couple of years has been pretty boring. The MP has really limited use, a FCP dongle as it was described in a forum. The mini has as many disadvantages as advantages when compared to the previous version. There is still no Mac for hardware enthusiasts, also no current display or 17" laptop.

Other than silly social stuff and a "new look" OS X really isn't any better than it was a couple of versions ago. So sad.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
75 months ago

More vaporware from Microsoft.

I don't think that's true in this case as the article (confirmed by other articles on the web) says:

According to Microsoft, the HoloLens will launch during the Windows 10 timeframe, which means that it could be available for purchase at some point later this year

Even if it's delayed and comin in early 2016, the technology looks quite unique and advanced.

Developers will need some time anyway to create compelling apps (I guess mostly games on the consumer side) for HoloLens.

I know this is a Mac/Apple site, but for once Microsoft should be given kudos for creating a new computing platform.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
75 months ago
Competition is good. At least MS is swinging the bat. Better than just continually making the bat whiter or thinner. ;)
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
75 months ago
84" is not a tablet, it's a table.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple References Unreleased 2020 16-Inch MacBook Pro in Boot Camp Update

Monday October 26, 2020 8:42 am PDT by
Last week, Apple released an update for Boot Camp, its utility for running Windows on a Mac. While this update would typically be unremarkable, several of our readers noticed that the release notes reference an unreleased 2020 model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. While this could easily be a mistake, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is nearly a year old, so it is certainly a worthy candidate for a...

MagSafe Charger Only Charges at Full 15W Speeds With Apple's 20W Power Adapter [Updated]

Monday October 26, 2020 3:38 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models, Apple introduced a new MagSafe charger that attaches to the magnetic ring in the back of the devices, providing up to 15W of charging power, which is double the speed of the 7.5W Qi-based wireless charging maximum. Apple does not provide a power adapter with the $39 MagSafe charger, requiring users to supply their own USB-C compatible option. Apple...

Google Reportedly Pays Apple $8-12 Billion Per Year to be Default iOS Search Engine

Sunday October 25, 2020 2:59 pm PDT by
The United States Justice Department is targeting a lucrative deal between Apple and Google as part of one of the U.S. government's largest antitrust cases, reports The New York Times. On Tuesday, the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, claiming the Mountain View-based company used anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and advertising markets to ...

After Mocking Apple, Samsung May Remove Power Adapter From Galaxy S21 Box

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:29 pm PDT by
Samsung's Galaxy S21, coming in 2021, may not include a power adapter or headphones in the box, according to reports from Korean media sites highlighted by SamMobile. Rumors earlier this year also said that Samsung was considering removing these accessories from future smartphone models, but that didn't stop Samsung from mocking Apple for selling the iPhone 12 models without a power adapter...

Report: Apple Silicon iMac Featuring Desktop Class 'A14T' Chip Coming First Half of 2021

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
The first iMac powered by Apple Silicon is set to arrive in the first half of next year and will feature a desktop class "A14T" chip, according to Chinese-language newspaper The China Times. Codenamed "Mt. Jade," Apple's first custom-made desktop processor will be twinned with its first self-developed GPU, codenamed "Lifuka," both of which are being produced using TSMC's 5-nanometer process, ...

iPhone 12 Six-Foot Drop Test Results: Ceramic Shield More Durable But Not Damage Proof

Monday October 26, 2020 5:00 am PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro feature a new Ceramic Shield screen that Apple says offers 4x better drop performance. To test that claim, Allstate Protection Plans put the two models through a range of breakability tests and recorded the results. In a face down sidewalk drop test at six feet, the iPhone 12 suffered small cracks and scuffed corners and edges, leaving sharp grooves in ...

Bloomberg: New AirPods and AirPods Pro Coming in 2021, AirPods Studio Delayed, Third HomePod Model Also Possible

Monday October 26, 2020 3:34 am PDT by
Apple plans to update its AirPods line next year with two new models including third-generation AirPods and second-generation AirPods Pro, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is working on two new models: third-generation entry-level AirPods and the second version of the AirPods Pro earbuds, according to people familiar with the plans. ...

2020 iPad Air vs. iPad Pro: Hands-On Comparison

Tuesday October 27, 2020 3:03 pm PDT by
Apple announced the new 2020 fourth-generation iPad Air in September, but the new tablets just started shipping out to customers last Friday. We picked one up and thought we'd do a hands-on comparison with the iPad Pro, which was last updated in March, because both tablets are about as powerful and share many similarities. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design and ...

iPhone 12 Ceramic Shield Still 'Scratches at Level 6 With Deeper Grooves at Level 7' in Mohs Hardness Test

Wednesday October 28, 2020 7:10 am PDT by
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new Ceramic Shield front cover that is "tougher than any smartphone glass," according to Apple, but the displays on the devices still have similar scratch resistance as previous iPhones based on a new test. Zack Nelson today shared his much-anticipated iPhone 12 Pro durability test on his YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, and based on the Mohs...

Apple Files Mystery 'Personal Computer' With Placeholder 'B2002' Name in Bluetooth Product Database

Tuesday October 27, 2020 12:36 pm PDT by
Last week, a listing appeared in the Bluetooth product database for an Apple product with a placeholder name "B2002" and a model number of "TBD." MacRumors was alerted to the listing by health and fitness tech website MyHealthyApple. The product is filed under the "personal computer" category, which Apple has used for previous Mac and iPad listings in the database, so it is hard to pinpoint...