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Robots crawl through walls in Microsoft's terrifying HoloLens demo (video)

Feel the fear with a heart-pumping, action-packed HoloLens demonstration that has a dude named Dan defending an event stage from robot invaders.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read

Hololens demo
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Hololens demo
The robots are coming. Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

The lines between virtual reality and pure reality are starting to blend, and Microsoft is in the middle of it all. The company's HoloLens crosses virtual reality with the environment around you and gets you questioning what's true and what's fiction. Microsoft calls it "mixed reality."

The tech giant demoed its HoloLens technology Tuesday at its big Surface and Lumia hardware announcement event. Microsoftie Dan McCulloch, wearing a hoodie and HoloLens augmented-reality headgear, took up a virtual gauntlet. It appeared around his hand like a cool effect from a sci-fi movie, and the audience cooed in amazement, no doubt flashing back to early "Tron" memories.

Dan takes on a game called Project X-Ray. As he moves, the gauntlet moves with him. Microsoft describes it as a "wearable hologram." This is already cool, but we're just getting started.

Dan blasts a hole in a nearby wood wall until a deadly robot crawls out and returns fire. All of this is visible thanks to a split screen showing us what Dan is experiencing. From the outside, it just looks like a guy wearing big glasses on his head, pointing his fist at a blank wall. Inside, it's terrifying. This is augmented reality with a kick.

The HoloLens is shaping up to provide an immersive gaming experience unlike any other. If the actual game play lives up to the demo, we'll all be flying around our living rooms as scorpion-shaped robots crawl out of the cupboards and across the couch.

Can't wait to slay some machines? Microsoft announced Tuesday that HoloLens developer kits will be available on an invite-only basis in the first quarter of 2016 for $3,000 (£1,970, AU$4,195). Better prepare to defend your home from the invaders.