Last week at Microsoft’s Windows 10 press conference left attendees with a small taste of the power that Windows 10 will bring to the consumer by showing off their new augmented-reality HoloLens headset. With VR devices like the Oculus and the HTC Vive, the Hololens takes virtual reality to a whole new, creative level. The demo by Microsoft was very tightly controlled. Cell phones, cameras, and laptops were left in lockers while Microsoft provided a notebook and a pen for people to take notes. Holo Studio seemed to be the main application shown during the presentation with a heavy emphasis on 3D design coupled with the ability to 3D print from the device. A small presentation of the popular Minecraft game was shown using the HoloLens, applying everything you love about Minecraft in your own living space. Want to build a castle on your coffee table? Go for it! Want to spawn a group of Creepers in the toilet? I don’t see why not.
A more serious demo was given, using a more practical, realistic situation. Did you drop a ring in the sink and need to retrieve it but have no knowledge of plumbing whatsoever? We strapped the HoloLens on and called a professional to give us real time instruction on how to remove the piping to get the ring back using a simple Skype call. I could pin the video to the wall to the left of the sink so the video didn’t obstruct my view, then followed the guidelines of the instructor with his illustrations that became realistic through the HoloLense.
All in all the demo Microsoft gave with the HoloLens was very interesting. They ended the conference with a video from the Curiosity Rover on Mars. We see someone put the lens on the walk around the scanned environment from the Rover. Though personal travel to Mars is unrealistic at the moment, being able to experience Mars in a 3D virtual world is more informative than sifting through hundreds of 2D prints. I am excited for the HoloLens and the possibilities this opens up to us.