HoloLens and Airplane Jet Engine Training Demo from WPC 2016

At the WPC (Worldwide Partner Conference) 2016, Microsoft gave yet another demo of the Microsoft HoloLens up on stage. The primary focus of showing off the HoloLens has shifted towards enterprise use. This is likely due to the upcoming Enterprise Edition of Microsoft HoloLens that supposedly coming eventually. Microsoft is looking to get companies to adopt HoloLens for innovative work and training scenarios. The Japan Airlines HoloLens demo at WPC 2016 shows off a scenario of how an airline could use HoloLens to train their mechanics without requiring the huge investment of an airplane or jet engine for training purposes.

The possibilities of Microsoft HoloLens are truly amazing! This is a new category of product that make Augmented Reality (AR) more usable than ever before. This Jet Engine training demo is really cool. It’ll be just as interesting to see how many different industries from automotive, to construction, and many others will adopt innovative HoloLens scenarios too!

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Windows 10 and the Holographic World

2016MixedReality002For some time it’s been unclear whether Microsoft will “pull an Apple” with the HoloLens and be the only manufacturer or if they’ll continue with tradition and organize with their partners. On June 1, 2016, Microsoft’s Terry Myers announced they are opening up the Windows Holographic Platform to partners in an effort to usher in a new era of Mixed Reality Computing.

Windows 10 will be the ONLY Mixed Reality Computing Platform bringing together an ecosystem of both Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies. With Windows 10 these different devices will be able to communicate together to create this new era of Mixed Reality Computing. This will be an ear akin to the first personal computers; to the first laptops; to the shift towards smartphones and mobile.

The era of Mixed Reality is coming, and it is going to change our world!

The virtual reality market is expected to expand to around 80 million devices by 2020. This is tremendous growth! Especially if you compare VR to the Xbox 360 which has sold a total of 84 million units in more than twice the amount of time. Overall the growth of Mixed Reality Devices is expected to be huge, fast, and expected to reach a similar market penetration as smartphones have today. The prediction is that everyone will have some kind of Mixed Reality Device they use every single day. The era of Mixed Reality is coming, and it is going to change our world!

Here’s a short video from Microsoft that gives us a glimpse into Microsoft’s vision of life with Mixed Reality Computing:

With this announcement, Microsoft is saying that Windows Holographic is coming to devices of all sizes, shapes, and form factors from fully immersive VR (tethered) headsets as well as completely untethered Augmented Reality (AR) Holographic devices such as the Microsoft HoloLens.

Microsoft will be working with Partners such as Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, HTC, Acer, ASUS, CyberPowerPC, Dell, Falcon Northwest, HP, iBuyPower, Lenovo, MSI, and many others to create and support great VR experiences on the Windows 10 Holographic Platform.

In March 2016 Microsoft started shipping the first Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition hardware. They have shown it’s usage with some pretty cool demos from NASA and kitchen design, all the way to gaming with a holographic version of Minecraft. What we’ve seen is only the tip of the iceberg.

There is plenty more amazing ways that the Mixed Reality Computing Platform and Windows Holographic can transform the way we interact with computers throughout our daily lives. Now that the ecosystem is open to partners through Microsoft’s invitation, we will certainly see some truly amazing advances and use cases coming within the next couple of years.

We all would love to hear more news on this, and Microsoft is planning to give us more details at WinHEC later this fall.

Additionally, if you have one of the Microsoft HoloLens Development Editions, what are you building with it today? Please lave a comment on this post, I would love to hear what people are doing with Windows Holographic today!

Microsoft HoloLens May 2016 Update

It’s been 2 months since the initial release of the HoloLens and the version of Windows 10 on the HoloLens has remained the same the entire time. On May 31, 2016 Microsoft released an operating system update to the Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition with a few new features. They’ve been listening to those who’ve used HoloLens thus far, and these features are a little proof they are listening to the communities feedback.

Here’s a short video from Microsoft on the new changes / updates brought to us with the HoloLens Holographic May 2016 Update:

New HoloLens Features:

Here’s a list of many of the new features in this update. A few of the most notable have been highlighted.

  • Multitasking! – with this update you can now run up to 3 “flat apps” (traditional 2D UWP apps) at the same time.
  • Pin Photos without app bar! – with this update, photos can now be pinned to a surface / wall without any GUI chrome being displayed. You walls will never be the same!
  • New Hologram Voice Commands
  • HoloLens development updates and Updated HoloLens Emulator
  • HoloLens Emulator now supports logging in with Microsoft Account
  • 2D apps hide holobar and cursor when viewing full screen video
  • File picker has been updated
  • Edge browser updates
  • Groove Music app
  • Can now Rotate Holograms
  • Bluetooth Mouse support!
  • Take mixed reality photos by pressing volume up and volume down button simultaneously
  • Mixed Reality Video recording limit has been raised to 5 minutes!
  • Photos app now streams Video from OneDrive rather than downloading full video before playback
  • Improved memory of where you’ve placed holograms
  • Improved keyboard for entering email addresses
  • Faster app registraiton
  • Faster auto detection of Time Zone
  • new Storage sense app
  • New consolidated Feedback Hub app

Changes:

  • Can now say “Hey Cortana, restart” or “Hey Cortana, restart the device” to reboot the HoloLens

Bug Fixes:

There are also MANY, many bug fixes, frankly way too many to list here. Go check out the full release notes for the HoloLens May 2016 Update for a full list of all the new features, changes, and bug fixes!

 

HoloLens Gaming: Minecraft Windows 10 Edition Beta

Minecraft on the HoloLens was one of the very first demos Microsoft gave in 2015 to show off how cool holographic gaming could be. Unfortunately, Microsoft has yet to announce any dates as to when they plan on releasing this super cool holographic Minecraft that turns your home into a pixelated playground of wonder. Even if you can’t play the holographic Minecraft yet, there remains a question. Can you play Minecraft on the Microsoft HoloLens?

The answer is a definite YES! Although there are some catches. Currently, the full version of Minecraft is not supported on the Microsoft HoloLens. It’s also not possible to use Remote Desktop on the HoloLens to play Minecraft either. So, how can Minecraft be played on the Microsoft HoloLens?

The answer from Microsoft for playing Minecraft on the HoloLens is through downloading the Minecraft for Windows 10 Edition Beta from the Windows Store. This is the same Minecraft for Windows 10 that’s available to the desktop / laptop version of Windows 10. Since this is a UWP (Universal Windows Platform) application, it also supports the Microsoft HoloLens.

Below is a short video to show it in action. In the video, a keyboard and mouse are used for game input. This is likely the best method to play since the on-screen touch controls would be really difficult to use with a single gaze cursor and clicker.

Happy crafting on the HoloLens!

HoloLens in Danger: Intel Cancels Atom CPU

The Microsoft HoloLens brings a truly innovative, augmented reality, wearable device. The currently released HoloLens hardware is the Developer Edition running on an Intel Atom CPU. Microsoft has yet to announce when a more broadly available consumer version of the HoloLens will be available. However, the recent announcement that Intel is cancelling the Atom CPU line raises some serious questions around the future of Microsoft HoloLens. Is the future of Microsoft HoloLens in danger? Will future HoloLens devices use ARM CPU’s? Continue reading

Detailed HoloLens Hardware Specs

The innovations of Microsoft Holographics brought to life by the Microsoft HoloLens are quite remarkable. While the HoloLens Development Edition is still v1 hardware, it’s really amazing how well it works. One thing Microsoft hasn’t really published is what the hardware specifications (CPU, RAM, Storage, etc) are inside powering the HoloLens device. Using the HoloLens Settings app along with the AIDA64 app available in the Windows Store many of the hardware specification details can be discovered. A compilation of the HoloLens hardware specs are below. Continue reading