Hello HoloLens: Reg man scores face time with Microsoft’s holographic headset

24 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Hands-on with Microsoft HoloLens: The hologram goggles seem unfinished, but show potential.

Tech site Mashable noted that at least for now, only Windows Insiders can download and install the new Windows build, though Microsoft is still accepting signups. “While Microsoft has yet to officially announce a public release date for Windows 10, most expect it to arrive before the end of this year.Microsoft’s Windows 10 launch event saw the launch of Windows HoloLens and the HoloLens headset, which are some of the most intriguing products the company has unveiled in the recent past.

Instead, with its new HoloLens headset, the company is offering real-world examples to show how you might use three-dimensional digital images – or holograms – in daily life. The Windows HoloLens is similar to an augmented reality experience (the kind many apps on smartphones aim to give) except that this is much more advanced, because users can wear a headset, like Virtual Reality goggles, to experience holograms in real life. I got a brief peek at what wearing the HoloLens could be like in different scenarios: performing a simple home repair, pretending to be a scientist studying the surface of Mars and exploring a colorful, animated game that added new dimensions to an unremarkable room. Microsoft HoloLens allows you to pin holograms in your physical environment and provides a new way to see your world. * Microsoft HoloLens features see-through, holographic, high-definition lenses and spatial sound so you can see and hear holograms in the world around you. As we noted here, Microsoft has taken a cue out of Apple’s book which has been given OS X and iOS upgrades away for free, to ensure that users don’t have to shell out money for an OS.

Microsoft says these holograms will transform your digital content (a say a picture or a graph or a game you’ve been playing) into real, physical objects in the room which you can physically interact with. If your PC or laptop is running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 and your Windows phone has the Windows Phone 8.1 OS, you will get a free upgrade to the latest version of Windows 10 – in the first year. In fact, Microsoft has also found the first adopters for the HoloLens: Scientists at NASA, who the company says will use HoloLens to explore Mars using images captured by the Mars Curiosity Rover. Last week, it suspended consumer sales after many people balked at the notion of wearing a digital camera and Internet-connected device on their head. While immersed in a virtual world, users are best advised to stay seated or keep still to avoid collisions with physical objects they cannot see in the real world. * What does it mean to have holograms on Windows 10?

Windows 10 is the first platform to support holographic computing with APIs that enable gesture and environmental understanding on an untethered device. Samsung and Oculus VR – which Facebook bought for $2 billion last year – are developing gaming headsets that essentially block the wearer’s view and replace it with an imaginary world. According to Microsoft’s official page on the HoloLens, the headset doesn’t require cords, wires or phones or tethers, has a transparent lens and advanced sensors, has built in spatial sounds, and is powered by Windows 10.

There is a see-through visor to let you see what’s in front of you, there’s spatial sound to hear holograms behind you and a bunch of other sensors which will work in tandem. Also tablet users can forget the horror of having to deal with something like a new Windows RT on their devices, which received terrible user feedback.

As this Engadget piece notes, based on the images of the device one can see “at least four cameras or sensors on the front of the HoloLens prototype.” Microsoft has not given away too many details on what they can do or what exactly they are capable of. As for the “holographic processing unit” , Microsoft explained during the presentation that it was needed because the set was processing terabytes of data in real time to understand gestures, voice and map the environment. This is great news for those who are heavily invested in the Windows eco-system and for app developers who won’t have to create a separate app for mobile or tablet. We spoke and used hand gestures to place digital markers on different rocks, in an exercise simulating how scientists might use the system to direct the rover’s exploration. Cortana for Windows: Microsoft has gone a step ahead of Apple by bringing its personal voice-assistant Cortana to all Windows 10 devices, including desktops and laptops, which is a massive plus point.

Microsoft HoloLens, a holographic lens device, allows users to see three-dimensional renderings of computer-generated images. (Courtesy: Microsoft Corporation) But another exercise brought home how useful the gadget might be. Kipman called HoloLens ”the next step” in moving ”beyond today’s digital borders.” Microsoft executives talked about other uses – from helping a surgeon learn a new operating technique to designing objects for 3-D printers. All pictures taken on the devices, as well as photos on One Drive will be merged together and the app will automatically delete the duplicate files to reduce the clutter.

Hello Project Spartan: Microsoft unveiled its Project Spartan at the event, which is indeed a new browser which comes with Cortana built in with its contextual searching. Reading mode in Project Spartan, similar to the reading mode in Apple’s Safari, will put articles in a layout that gets rid of all the unnecessary elements on a page. According to a blogpost, the company wrote that “Spartan loads the IE11 engine for legacy enterprise web sites when needed.” Essentially enterprise websites that older technologies designed only for Internet Explorer, such as custom ActiveX controls and Browser Helper Objects will load on Internet Explorer, which will also be available on Windows 10. Internet Explorer will use the same dual rendering engines as Spartan, ensuring web developers can consistently target the latest web standards, says the blog post.

Game DVR, which gives simple access to recording, editing, and sharing a player’s most epic gaming moments on an Xbox will now come to Windows 10, and is accessible by simply pressing Windows+G.

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