Microsoft has revealed its first virtual reality headset, the Microsoft HoloLens, delivering what the company calls "holograms" but what we perhaps know more as augmented reality. The headset, which resembles an oversized pair of ski goggles, overlays digital graphics onto the real world using transparent lenses and Windows 10. With the headset, Microsoft says, everything from gaming, through streaming media in apps like Netflix, to productivity apps, Skype video calling, or even creating virtual 3D objects in the new HoloStudio app - think Paint for the 21st century - are possible in a full standalone wearable computer.
Google's Project Tango has begun shipping, with the 3D tracking tablet arriving on developers' desks this week as they get started on new ways to blend the real-world with its digital counterpart. Pre-orders of the NVIDIA-powered Android slate began midway through this month, at a not-inconsiderable $1,024, though the sales window wasn't kept open for long. Still, Isobar developer Mike DiGiovanni got in fast, and his Tango tablet has now arrived.
DARPA, the US government's R&D arm, is looking to Oculus Rift to make cyber-warfare more approachable to the American military, immersing the military in 3D representations of target networks. Part of Plan X, DARPA's ongoing work on reducing the technical requirements for a new age of digital warfare, the Oculus integration is currently only conceptual, though the agency says it has already been briefed on upcoming hardware from the headset company.
This Tuesday, Google will throw open the order books for Glass and start its first round of invitation-free sales. To many it's a hard sell - $1,500 worth of conspicuous face-jewelry without a clear use-case - whereas to others its the gateway to the new generation of wearables. Either way, those who flex their credit cards and join the Explorer program may have to face a growing push-back against technology.
Google has finally revealed its frame options for Glass, the Titanium Collection, with four styles and the chance to have prescription lenses fitted. It addresses a long-standing complain about the wearable computer, and something Google knew it had to fix before the consumer launch before the end of 2014. Problem is, as a Glass Explorer and someone who wears prescription glasses to correct my vision, it feels like Google hasn't thought through exactly how the frames will work in everyday use.
Google has revealed its prescription frames for Google Glass, the much-anticipated accessory which will make the wearable computer more user-friendly to those who already wear glasses. Dubbed the Titanium Collection and offered in four styles - Thin, Classic, Bold, and Split - all are made from lightweight titanium, like the original Glass band, and will be supplied with non-prescription lenses suited for those who don't need their vision corrected, but can be optionally fitted out to suit a prescription.
Lumus has brought its DK-40 wearable to CES 2014, showing off the new developer unit in public for the first time. The monocular headset is, like Google's Glass, an Android-powered wearable computer, but whereas Glass floats a small window for notifications and such in the upper corner of your eye, the DK-40 actually overlays a full VGA digital image over the right eye instead. We grabbed some hands-on time to see whether it lived up to our expectations from the original prototype we tried all the way back in early 2012.
Prescription lenses for Google Glass will be priced from $99, one start-up has confirmed, with Rochester Optical revealing early cost details ahead of preorders opening after CES 2014 next week. The company, which confirmed its prescription option for those wanting to use Google's wearable as their regular spectacles was due "in just a few weeks" courtesy of a questionnaire last week, will offer a number of packages that clip onto Glass rather than requiring it be dismantled and attached to a new headpiece, as Google's own system looks to involve.