Microsoft HoloLens

PRESENTATION of the new operating system Windows 10 was dyed unexpectedly magic. When Alex Kipman, the visionary creator of Kinect, took the stage, to many it seemed to review Steve Jobs announcing a “one more thing”. Holographic Windows and Microsoft HoloLens have caught everyone off guard, so that we still have to understand what we saw.

Microsoft believes that the experience of the future is in the holograms, although perhaps not the best word to describe an experience that many more familiar with the term augmented reality. At the center of it all is a viewer, which vaguely resembles the Project Morpheus Sony, called HoloLens. This display contains a CPU (processor), a GPU (graphics chip) but also a third chip called Holographic Processing Unit (HPU).

Microsoft HoloLens

HoloLens device is a “standalone”, that functions independently: no need for cables that connect to other devices or PC. This at least in intention, because the US journalists present at the event have tried a prototype with a cable to the power supply attached to the device. We therefore wonder what the term autonomy.

The viewer is a complete computer worn on the head with clear lenses (let you see the surrounding environment), advanced sensors unspecified and surround sound (spatial sound) that allows you to understand where the sound is coming. Alex Kipman said HoloLens processes terabytes of data collected by sensors in real time. The device understands where you’re looking, your gestures and voice commands.

With Holographic API (Application Programming Interface) in Windows 10 developers can create experiences: Microsoft has encouraged companies like Magic Leap, Oculus and to work to create their holograms. During the event, Microsoft has reproduced some demonstration videos very surprising, showing NASA scientists to work with Curiosity in a virtual environment to design the routes of the rover and beyond. The result of the collaboration is a program called OnSight.
HoloLens Microsoft, the world is filled with holograms.

Another demonstration involved the field of gaming, with Minecraft reproduced virtually in a living room. Now it becomes clear why Microsoft acquired Mojang for $ 2.5 billion: this is a possible killer app to push HoloLens, whereas Minecraft has millions of players on PC, console and mobile. There was then behind only the value of the security itself, but a more structured approach.

Also interesting are the words of Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two Interactive, who called Microsoft’s technology “extraordinary”. Who knows if and when the publisher will commission a holographic version of Grand Theft Auto (GTA) to Rockstar Games. Other demonstrations have seen the construction of 3D virtual devices and the ability to ask for help in real time for plumbing repair, complete with animated instructions overlapping tubes real.

You can also chat via Skype with a colleague while walking to the office or watch tv projected on a wall (without others see you) and so on. Microsoft has also shown how to use the software to build a HoloStudio quadricopter, acting with gestures on virtual pieces. Voice commands like “paste” have served to put the pieces together, but in the demonstration have been given other instructions as a “mirror” to copy the pieces and “wheel” to change its orientation.

All demonstrations were impeccable but must take into account that everything was prepared for the event. We must try HoloLens with hand to get a better picture, as was done with the Oculus Rift. Of course, as shown by Microsoft surprising because the market is full of companies engaged for some time in virtual reality and augmented that are struggling in making products suited to be marketed.

Microsoft has solved all the problems of planning, design, interface, content management and input? It seems so at least it implies, but it is right to keep our feet on the ground, waiting for more information and new demonstrations. There remain many other questions unanswered. HoloLens debut more or less in the period of release of Windows 10, according to a statement from the CEO Satya Nadella. The price remains unknown but Nadella spoke adequate prices to the sector enterprise and consumer. What it means specifically, we’ll see. Microsoft will surprise us even on the lists?