Microsoft HoloLens

  • 2016

  • Product
    Consumer Electronics

Designed By:

  • Microsoft Device Design Team

Commissioned By:


Designed In:


Microsoft HoloLens is the first fully untethered, holographic computer, enabling you to view, place, and interact with holograms in your physical environment and providing you a whole new way to see your world.

HoloLens provides a unique, immersive computing experience, but one that doesn’t try to block you from the real world. Instead, it embeds your most valuable applications into the world around you.

We call this experience mixed reality, and it is enabling all-new ways to create, communicate, work, and play.

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  • Before HoloLens the product took shape, it began as a notion - a dream of finding a way to break down the walls between people and technology. The HoloLens team had a vision of creating a vivid, immersive computing experience to seamlessly integrate and overlay technology in your world, but one that didn't require cutting you off from reality. A gamer using HoloLens can fight robots breaking through the actual living room walls, dodging as very real-looking lasers fly past their head. An architect or illustrator using HoloLens can design in three dimensions, moving objects from the screen into the real world to visualize and examine. A professor or student using HoloLens can get up close and personal with their area of study like never before, strolling through rock formations on Mars or examining a hologram cross-section of a beating, human heart.

  • Core to the team's vision for HoloLens was the ability to naturally move throughout your world, which meant providing an untethered experience. HoloLens has more computing power than the average laptop, but with no wires - remarkable, given it's packed with sensors, microphones, a battery, advanced optics, a custom Holographic Processing Unit, and more.

  • HoloLens utilizes Gaze, Gesture and Voice to allow you to naturally interact with holograms.Gaze: Built-in sensors let you use your gaze to move the cursor so you can select holograms. Turn your head and the cursor will follow.Gesture: Use simple gestures to open apps, select and size items, and drag and drop holograms in your world. A highly precise system of sensors positioned discreetly behind the spherical visor use infrared (IR) light to dimensionally track hand gestures.Voice: Use voice commands to navigate, select, open, command, and control your apps. Speak directly to Cortana, who can help you complete tasks. The more she learns about you, the better she gets.

  • The Microsoft Industrial Design team's mission was to marry next-generation computing and approachable design. HoloLens was designed to hide tremendous complexity in a sleek enclosure, positioning a highly precise system of sensors discreetly behind a spherical visor that uses infrared (IR) light to dimensionally track hand gestures and the room around you. The optics can be moved further away from the face to allow for use with glasses without twisting or racking, thanks to a hidden timing mechanism within the headband to ensure symmetrical adjustment. Inside the visor's front enclosure? A fully powered PC to allow holograms to come to life.The team believed that the industrial design should not be guided by aesthetic motivations, but by balancing all the competing needs and architecting a form factor that is simple and intuitive to use - one that focuses on making the immersive experience the hero.

    Along with being light, untethered and packed with computing power, the HoloLens was designed for comfort. One of the first things the team explored was the human head, as everyone has a different shape and circumference - they conducted 3D scans of nearly 100 different craniums. As a result, the HoloLens headband is made to feel like a performance car, components thoughtfully placed so the device's weight is balanced around the crown of the head to avoid putting undue pressure on the ears or bridge of the nose. The headband can be adjusted for a wide range of head sizes.