Wireless Microsoft HoloLens To Have Up to 5.5 Hours of Battery Life

Microsoft's wearable holographic computing device, the HoloLens, will be totally wireless, with a battery life ranging from 2.5 to 5.5 hours, depending on how intensively it's used, Microsoft technical evangelist Bruce Harris recently said during an event in Tel Aviv.

A $3,000 development edition of the HoloLens is expected to become available sometime in the first quarter of this year. Microsoft has not yet said when it plans to release a consumer version, although CEO Satya Nadella said last summer that the development of the device will be a five-year journey.

During his presentation to a small audience at a nighttime gathering in Israel, Harris emphasized that the HoloLens is essentially a fully functional Windows 10 PC, albeit one that's worn like a set of goggles. "Anything you can do on a laptop, you can do on this," he said.

'Mixed Reality" not AR or VR

During his talk, Harris explained how the HoloLens will differ from augmented-reality and virtual-reality devices. Microsoft's technology will fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum between those two types of devices: it does more than simply overlay digital but non-interactive information onto a real-world view, but it doesn't present a totally virtual vision where everything in the user's field of view is a digitized simulacrum of reality, he said. "That's why we used the term, 'mixed reality,'" Harris said.

Unlike some current virtual reality technologies, the HoloLens will also have a more limited field of view, with its on-screen images basically equivalent to that of a 15-inch monitor viewed from about two feet away. While that limitation might not appeal to gamers looking for fully immersive experiences, it does eliminate a problem that's common in many of today's VR devices: motion sickness.

Microsoft has said that the ability of the HoloLens to project virtual,...

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