Microsoft’s big virtual reality device HoloLens was also shown at the Build 2015 conference recently. The headset paints holograms in three dimensions in front of the wearer’s eyes. It does sound similar to augmented reality, but interestingly HoloLens seems to use holograms to bridge the gap between augmented and virtual reality, being neither one or the other.
The latest demo managed to show off this ability to paint holograms over real life pretty well – colourful space aliens and games were shown, but also some more serious stuff involving medical cross sections of a human heart. There are a lot of applications for this high end mobile ‘computer on your head’.
Indeed, the software behind HoloLens, known as Windows Holographic, runs Windows 10 applications natively, so it’s safe to assume Windows 10 could potentially never leave you alone, if you decide to wear HoloLens the whole time you’re in the house. Then of course the OS also lives on your computer, phone, tablet and laptop and is connected to your games console. Seems like Microsoft needs a whole lot of your attention.
However, if you’re not a tech fanatic and actually have a serious, driving need for this technology, Microsoft has detailed Windows Holographic and HoloLens’s ability to make it a lot easier to learn about important stuff. The demoed medical applications included showing users how to perform surgery on a heart with a scalpel, as well as showing detailed cross-sections of the human body – including what a broken leg looks like.
Industrial applications of the holographic tool were also made apparent – using HoloLens a real life robot provided a base point for a computer generated one to appear above it – the computer generated robot was much larger, and had a visual representation of where it was going painted ahead of it. Obviously in warehouses of the future where automation is king this could be very useful.
HoloLens is not yet sceduled for a release, indeed Microsoft have decided to simply demo the technology at Build 2015, for all to use. For now. When the final device does arrive, it could very well be in a changed or updated form. Google Glass was similarly tested prior to a new version. We could be seeing more from Microsoft on HoloLens very soon.