During Microsoft's Windows 10 media briefing in Seattle it pulled a rabbit out of the hat by announcing Windows Holographic, a technology that adds 3D images in the world around us all. And it announced its own AR headset, the Microsoft HoloLens as an all-new product category.
The company wants to introduce augmented reality objects into every aspect of our world. Obviously, that won't happen with the naked eye, but users wearing the HoloLens augmented reality headsets will be able to see holographic images presented by developers using APIs built into Windows 10.
The headset will also have a third, dedicated processor for the rendering of holograms.
Microsoft has opened invitations to developers to create holographic apps based on the new operating system, which it will be releasing to consumers in mid-2015. A new development build of the OS is also being made available and a new software app for development of 3D objects for the holographic system is to be released: HoloStudio.
HoloStudio allows people to build 3D objects within a 3D holographic environment. It's like using a paint program but in a real world space. 3D objects can then be 3D printed to become actual physical items.
There is no news yet on when the HoloLens might be available to consumers, but it's interesting to see Microsoft pushing forward with a product category that Google seems about to leave behind.