Microsoft is adding an artificial intelligence chip to HoloLens

  • Microsoft is adding an artificial intelligence chip to HoloLens

Microsoft is adding an artificial intelligence chip to HoloLens

Microsoft is working on a mixed reality headset that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to boost processing speed.

Microsoft's HoloLens got disappeared from the public view. "[It] is created to work in the next version of HoloLens, running continuously off the HoloLens battery". Consider that the virtual reality market shows signs of steady growth, despite its inherently steep cost and thin games lineup - but the heartbeat is certainly there to keep things in motion.

The company's AI "coprocessor" will compliment the on-device HPU, a version of which appears on the current headset.

When Microsoft first unveiled the HoloLens, it said that it comes with a special kind of processor, called an HPU, that can accelerate the kind of "holographic" content displayed by the HMD.

Microsoft HoloLens 2 will incorporate the AI coprocessor to implement Deep Neural Networks (DNNs). Due to the fact that this more flexible AI solution doesn't require an internet connection for tasks like object and voice recognition, in theory it should improve HoloLens' speed significantly. Many operations must be performed near instantaneously to produce a smooth user experience, which rules out the possibility of relegating them to a remote data center thanks to the inevitable networking delays. But there's still no release date yet for the HoloLens 2. "The HPU is part of what makes HoloLens the world's first-and still only-fully self-contained holographic computer".

Harry Shum, the executive Vice President of AI and Research Group at Microsoft announced the company's decision to design custom chip at CVPR 2017.

The HPU processes information from onboard sensors - such as inertial measurement, head tracking, and infrared tracking. HoloLens 2 will be able to implement its own DNNs, and developers will have full access to program the AI chip.

Rumour has it we can expect it to arrive sometime in 2019.

The issue is that a device like the HPU consumes a lot of power because of the complex tasks it has to complete. A leaked image did the rounds a few months ago, but we're still waiting for an official announcement from the company.