Microsoft recently announced their newest venture into the world of augmented reality, and it is creating quite the buzz. The platform has been dubbed “mixed reality,” referring to the process of superimposing holographic images on top of real life images.
It was officially unveiled at Build 2017, the company’s annual developer conference, but has been in the works for quite some time. Microsoft’s HoloLens is similar to other AR/VR headsets, but sleeker and less bulky looking.
Some people are comparing it to Oculus Rift, but the HoloLens offers the ability to overlay digital graphics onto the real world, giving it the advantage. It also uses no wires so you are free to move about and it is operated by hand movements and voice control.
Read what Gizmodo has to say about the HoloLens headset:
What Happened to the Amazing HoloLens Future We Were Promised?
The headset was, at the time—and is still to this day—more advanced than budding virtual reality products like the Oculus Rift, because HoloLens includes no wires, is operated by gesture and voice controls, and has the ability to map any room you’re standing in. But the HoloLens really shines in its ability to overlay digital graphics onto the real world, turning any room into a Holodeck. Although the inherent challenges in trying to build a powerful faceputer were apparent from the start, the potential of the technology felt limitless.
Read more here: What Happened to the Amazing HoloLens Future We Were Promised?
Microsoft’s mixed reality platform allows coworkers to collaborate on projects, even if they aren’t all present, as was demonstrated by creators at Cirque du Soleil during the Build 2017 Conference. They built a virtual stage together, showing how the platform could greatly enhance and accelerate the set design process.
The uses are endless, though. It is fascinating to think about the potential for business as well as for recreational and educational adoption.
The following video was made nine months ago, as the pre-production version was available in March of 2016. The main reason I chose it is because the author exhibits a number of practical business applications along with some cool educational ideas:
James Mackie, the creator of the above video, makes manipulating objects wearing HoloLens look easy. However, I have read that it takes some practice to get the hang of it. It also offers voice command, but the virtual assistant Cortana hasn’t been perfected yet either.
The cost is somewhat prohibitive, but it is still in the beta mode. Even though it is basically positioned for developers, sales are open to anyone in the United States and Canada.
This post from CNET author Sean Hollister gives details about the price of this cool piece of technology:
Microsoft HoloLens release date, price and specs – CNET
But this week, Microsoft let us see what it’s actually like to use HoloLens for real. I spent 90 minutes with an actual $3,000 Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition on my head, watching as computer-generated objects popped into existence in my real world. (It’s £2,719 in the UK and AU$4,369 in Australia.) I walked around an ordinary hotel suite, with no Microsoft supervision, and saw what these holograms were capable of. It made my mind swirl with the possibilities.
Read the full post here: Microsoft HoloLens release date, price and specs – CNET
Some people get confused at the difference between virtual reality and augmented reality. Virtual reality (VR) is artificial,computer-generated images, where augmented reality (AR) actually layers computer-generated enhancements over the top of an existing reality.
They are both great for entertainment, science, and medical purposes, to name a few, but they differ in their method of delivery. VR gives the user a way to navigate in a simulated world, but AR is wirelessly connected to devices such as laptops and smartphones to intersect the real world with digital graphics.