2016MixedReality001

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 Environment Mapping Video Capture

Here’s a short video I recorded using the Microsoft HoloLens showing the animation of the HoloLens mapping the environment. This is exactly what the user sees when they are using Microsoft HoloLens as it overlays a wireframe over the room as it builds a 3D model in memory. This 3D model is then used for intelligently placing virtual objects, aka Holograms, within the room as well as the HoloLens knowing its current position within 3D space at all times. Continue reading