HoloLens

Microsoft steps up its hologram game.
microholo2

So while some members of our team have been open about how cool they think holograms are, this stim writer has never quite seen the appeal of a photo or video that operates in three-dimensional space instead of a flat surface. Then Microsoft showed up and told me I could blow up zombies on my living room table.

Announced last week at the Windows 10 event, Microsoft’s HoloLens is much bigger and bulkier than something like Google Glass, but it makes up for it with more computing power that gives it even more capabilities. By running on the Windows 10 operating system, HoloLens is able to take games like Minecraft and project levels directly onto your current environment.

But far from being an Oculus Rift competitor, it has a host of real world applications. It has user-interface features, with hand gestures being used to open apps and programs, transfer files in cloud storage or drag videos to be “projected” on different surfaces of whatever room you’re in (it doesn’t use actual holograms, instead using a special kind of display technique to trick the eye into thinking a user is in the world in front of it). Skype can be used to make video calls and the person on the other end of the call can see through your headset’s eyes and draw telestrator-like instructions on the world in front of you. HoloStudio allows users to create models that can be sent to 3D printers. NASA has already said it plans to use it to explore environments built from data collected from the Curiosity rover on Mars.

The coolest part might be that Microsoft already has working demos for these features. I know we say this a lot, but the future is here.