Microsoft HoloLens AR Headset Is ‘Totally Wireless’ And Features Up To 5.5-Hour Battery Life

Microsoft HoloLens

Virtual reality is enjoying some ridiculous hype right now, fueled by the fact that the first kits will be launching in the months ahead. But while VR gets so much love right now, we can't forget about another alternate reality platform, AR, or augmented reality.

AR, unlike VR, isn't designed to completely replace your field-of-view with another world, but instead complement the world around you. We've seen examples in the past where Microsoft would be able to drop monsters into your environment, although HoloLens' focus so far hasn't so much been gaming, but instead creation - being able to sculpt something virtual right in front of your eyes, and walk around it, zoom in and tweak as necessary.

As we can now see, there's going to be a benefit for AR, at least in HoloLens' case, over VR: the headset can remain completely wireless. Ultimately, this doesn't seem like much of a surprise, because HoloLens will have less data to receive than a VR headset would: it'd be beaming objects rather than an entire scene. Beyond that, you can probably get by with slightly higher latencies with AR, because the environment isn't being rendered, and thus shouldn't cause headaches.

HoloLens In Design

Interestingly, the wireless nature of HoloLens was revealed in a video, but that video no longer exists. Those who were able to check it out in advance of it disappearing learned that the HoloLens is designed to last up to 5.5 hours under load, and 2.5 hours when "pushing the device to its limits." 2.5 hours isn't too long, so hopefully the device can be easily plugged in if the worst case strikes. At least in this case, it should just be one cable to plug in, rather than multiple.

There's still no telling when HoloLens is going to be released to the public, but this quarter, a developer's edition is expected to drop. It's going to be exciting to see what people manage to pull off with AR once it gets out the door.