Microsoft Surprises with Surface Hub and HoloLens

Posted on January 21, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 0 Comments

Today’s Windows 10 event wasn’t just about new software: Microsoft also announced two innovative new devices that will accompany Windows 10 to market. But these aren’t new phones, tablets or laptops. Instead, Microsoft is delivering an 84-inch screen that is bristling with sensors and a holographic—really augmented reality—headset.

Yes, really.

And, yes, both of these things are nuts in their own way.

If you’re familiar with Microsoft’s Perceptive Pixel screens, the coming Surface Hub—which is a terrible name, given that Microsoft has an unrelated app of the same name—will look similar. And like PPI, it’s aimed at the workplace.

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But Surface Hub is a different animal. This beast will come in two screen sizes—55- and 84-inches—and offer 4K of resolution. It has built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, microphones and cameras. It can be used as a digital whiteboard that users can write on with a stylus, using a custom version of OneNote. It can be used for virtual meetings. It features multi-touch, so user can interact with one-screen elements naturally. It is … a big f@#cking screen is what it is.

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And then there’s HoloLens for a double dose of nuts. It’s a full Windows 10 PC with CPU, GPU and, yes, HPU (for holographic processing unit). It can be used for fun or games, and it paints PC-based 3D UI on real world objects around you so you can interact with them. It looks good in theory—my demo is later today—but also a bit Kinect-like, which might be a bad sign. (It comes from the same team, go figure.)

These devices require a lot more time, obviously. But I need to run. 🙂