h1

Get the lowdown on Microsoft Hololens

March 1, 2015

microsoft-hololens-skype-rgb.pngToday at GDC 2015, Microsoft pledged the future of HoloLens to gaming as it confirmed that it will be bringing games to the headset through Xbox One.

“Gaming and entertainment is going to be critical” for HoloLens, said Xbox boss Phil Spencer. Microsoft considers HoloLens as a massive platform for games that will be built across Xbox One and Windows 10.

“We see this as a full Windows 10 device with holographic capability,” added Spencer, who also mentioned that the HoloLens APIs will be made available with Windows 10 gaming SDK.

As far as what we’ll end up seeing available on HoloLens through the Xbox One, it’s anyone’s guess. However, Spencer did make it clear that some hefty first-party muscle is behind the initiative. It’s very possible that we could see the likes of Master Chief through the AR headset in the future.

Microsoft has a vision for the future, and it involves terms and technology straight out of science fiction.

But are we actually glimpsing that future? Yes and no.

Microsoft’s HoloLens, which the company unveiled at its Redmond, Wash., headquarters on Wednesday, is a sleek, flashy headset with transparent lenses. You can see the world around you, but suddenly that world is transformed — with 3D objects floating in midair, virtual screens on the wall and your living room covered in virtual characters running amok.

Technology companies have long promised to bring us the future now, reaching ahead 5 or 10 years to try to amaze consumers with the next big breakthrough. Hollywood, on the other hand, has shown that tech in action (or at least simulations of it).

In “Minority Report,” for instance, Tom Cruise’s character used sweeping, midair hand gestures and transparent screens to do police work. Five years later, Apple unveiled the iPhone, and with it, a touchscreen operated by hand and finger gestures. Microsoft in turn served up its Kinect gesture-control device, which tracks people’s movements through space and feeds the data into an interface.

Going further, “The Matrix” showed hackers plugging computers into people’s brains to transport them to imaginary cities. And in “Star Trek,” computers used energy fields and visual tricks to create worlds people could touch and feel.

We’re not even close to those scenarios yet, but we’re taking tiny steps in that direction. Companies like Facebook, Google and Microsoft are now attempting to move that fiction toward reality, and the public is beginning to see those visions of tomorrow take form.

So how does the HoloLens measure up against other reality-altering gadgets?

What’s a HoloLens, and how does it work?

Microsoft’s HoloLens is not actually producing 3D images that everyone can see; this isn’t “Star Trek.”

Instead of everyone walking into a room made to reproduce 3D images, Microsoft’s goggles show images only the wearer can see. Everyone else will just think you’re wearing goofy-looking glasses.

Another key thing about HoloLens is what Microsoft is trying to accomplish.

The company is not trying to transport you to a different world, but rather bring the wonders of a computer directly to the one you’re living in. Microsoft is overlaying images and objects onto our living rooms.

As a HoloLens wearer, you’ll still see the real world in front of you. You can walk around and talk to others without worrying about bumping into walls.

The goggles will track your movements, watch your gaze and transform what you see by blasting light at your eyes (it doesn’t hurt). Because the device tracks where you are, you can use hand gestures — right now it’s only a midair click by raising and lowering your finger — to interact with the 3D images.

There’s a whole bunch of other hardware that’s designed to help the HoloLens’ effects feel believable. The device has a plethora of sensors to sense your movements in a room and it uses this information along with layers of colored glass to create images you can interact with or investigate from different angles. Want to see the back of a virtual bike in the middle of your kitchen? Just walk to the other side of it.

The goggles also have a camera that looks at the room, so the HoloLens knows where tables, chairs and other objects are. It then uses that information to project 3D images on top of and even inside them — place virtual dynamite on your desk and you might blow a hole to see what’s inside.

hololens-review-970-80

 

Source: cNet, Techcrunch, Microsoft and many others

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: