Economy, Sci & Tech

Microsoft Augmented Reality Gets Chip Boost

Microsoft pushing ahead with its latest version of Hololens. Microsoft pushing ahead with its latest version of Hololens.

The next version of Microsoft’s HoloLens may be better at navigating reality than the current version of the mixed-reality headset, thanks to a new coprocessor the company announced Sunday.

The second version of HoloLens’ custom multiprocessor -- called a “holographic processing unit,” or HPU -- will incorporate artificial intelligence technology, Harry Shum, executive vice president of the Artificial Intelligence and Research Group, said at the annual CVPR computer vision event, according to Tech News World.

The new HPU will enable HoloLens to do the kind of deep learning processing that typically is done only in the cloud.

HoloLens is designed to be a self-contained holographic computer -- battery, sensors and display are contained in the headset. The HPU allows the headset to negotiate reality without experience-killing latency.

HoloLens will benefit from the addition of AI silicon, according to Eric Abbruzzese, a senior analyst with ABI Research.

“Higher accuracy in head tracking and georegistering content -- locking digital content to the real world -- is the primary benefit, with the side effect of a platform gradually growing in capability,” he told the tech website.  

The additional silicon could boost performance and user safety, said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy.


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