At a conference in Las Vegas, Microsoft demonstrated that it could use a HoloLens 2 headset to show a hologram figure that translates the keynote speech from the real speaker and Azure executive Julia White.
During the brief demo, the replica appeared on-command and repeated White’s earlier delivery in Japanese with relatively convincing facial expression and body language.
While it looked impressive, the demo wasn’t a real-time conversion. To faithfully duplicate White in a hologram, Microsoft leveraged its Mixed Reality capture studio with special lighting rigs and an array of high-resolution cameras to scan her. Meanwhile, the Seattle-based software giant used its Azure AI and neural text-to-speech to turn her keynote delivery into another language.
To those who don’t know, a HoloLens is a head-mounted display or a pair of oversized smart glasses that could display static or interactable virtual objects that merge with the real world. But unlike most virtual reality headsets, HoloLens leans towards the enterprise markets since its debut in 2016.
And it is easy to see why. Microsoft priced the latest HoloLens 2 at around $4,600 CAD per unit, putting it outside the reach of most consumers.