TECHTALK: HoloLens promises virtual reality revolution at home

Microsoft's HoloLens can project virtual screens and objects  in 3D space
Microsoft's HoloLens can project virtual screens and objects in 3D space
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Imagine a world where every wall in your home is a potential screen, and every tabletop and surface can become an interactive 3D space.

That’s exactly what Microsoft is promising with HoloLens, a virtual reality headset which combines your real-world view with fully 3D images, writes Alex Evans.

It means you can walk around your home and see your family, friends, objects and furniture, but with all manner of virtual screens and notifications laid over the top.

As Microsoft explains it: “With the ability to interact with three-dimensional holograms in your real world, you’ll have a new medium to express your creativity, a more efficient way to teach and learn, and a more effective way to visualise your work and share your ideas with others. There isn’t a screen to touch or a mouse to click. Microsoft HoloLens understands your movements, vision, and voice, enabling you to interact with content and information in the most natural way possible.”

One example of the tech in action is HoloBuilder, bascially a 3D virtual reality Minecraft. Wearing the headset, users will be able to see a virtual recreation of any object in the wildly popular building sim, projected onto anything in the home – a table, worktop or just the floor.

The image – which will only be visible to the wearer of the headset – can then be seen fully integrated into the real world setting. So you can build a miniature house in Minecraft bricks on your kitchen table, stand up and walk around it and view it from any angle, all from within the headset.

Other uses include weather and news projected onto walls as you walk around the house, or Skype conversations blown up onto an entire wall.

The HoloLens’ projection screen moves as you move your head, and can be controlled entirely with voice commands and motions.

“So you can just hold your hand in front of you, then move your fingers to make selections.

The tech will work with new operating system Windows 10.

The OS brings back the traditional Start menu, drops Internet Explorer and promises to deliver the same experience across phones, tablets and PCs – and wil be free to Windows 7 or 8 users when it launches this year.