- Microsoft showcased HoloLens‘ functionality with Windows 10 at its annual Build event
- Functionalities showcased include making Skype calls from within HoloLens, how HoloLens can aid the work of architectural companies like Trimble, a Microsoft partner that used the system to create holographic building models, and how it can be used in educational settings
- 3D interactive software company Sketchfab announced an official pairing with Microsoft HoloLens to help spur the development of 3D content on the platform
From the Mashable article:
Microsoft’s annual Build event, led by CEO Satya Nadella, waited until the end of Wednesday’s keynote to unveil the most stunning part of its presentation: HoloLens.
The company showed off how Windows 10 apps work seamlessly within what Microsoft calls the Windows Holographic platform. And it was impressive.
After Nadella handed the reins over to Microsoft vice president of operating systems, Joe Belfiore, to demo Windows 10, Belfiore then introduced Microsoft technical fellow Alex Kipman, who presented a series of HoloLens users on stage.
First, we got to see how the HoloLens handles an apartment layered in the holographic app panels. The customized room included holographic items, such as a virtual dog (name Fang), a robot and a holographic start menu on which he opened up a Skype call. The user then pinned the Skype call panel to a wall.
On another wall, he had a panel that opened up a video screen playing a movie. Then, by using the command “follow me,” the selected panel followed him as he walked to another part of the apartment.
The demo showed how when you travel to another part of your home wearing HoloLens, you can scale the holographic window that followed you to any size (think cinema display). According to the presenter, the feature works for a number of holographic apps within the system.
Next we were treated to a demonstration of how the HoloLens can aid the work of architectural companies like Trimble, a Microsoft partner that used the system to create holographic building models. The demo video also showed how to designers can collaborate remotely while walking through the same holographic building plans.
After that, the HoloLens was part of what might have been the most impressive demo to date: showing how medical students can study the human anatomy holographically, from organs to bones to fully formed person.
The company also showed off how the hologram can be animated to offer more detail on functions of the human body (such as a beating heart, which was stunningly demonstrated on stage).
Positioning the HoloLens in this context as a learning tool, the presenters highlighted how HoloLens can also be used to assist in learning environments around art, engineering and paleontology studies.
Finally, Microsoft illustrated how the HoloLens can be integrated with real world, mobile technologies when it brought out a robot called B15. The tiny, unassuming robot wheeled out to the center of the stage and then, at the command of its HoloLens-wearing human operator, it was suddenly overlaid a holographic robotic head and arm construct, which hovered over the physical robot.
The robot controller then opened up an array of controls around the robot’s body that manipulated its color in real-time. Then the HoloLens-wearing robot operator switched the robot into “pathfinding mode,” air tapped the stage floor in several places and showed how the robot could interpret the holographic points follow them along a specific path. And, if obstacles come up, the HoloLens wearer can then update the path on the fly, adjusting the real robot’s travel path.
In a separate announcement, 3D interactive software company Sketchfab announced an official pairing with Microsoft HoloLens to help spur the development of 3D content on the platform.
We haven’t had a chance to see if the demonstration videos shown off today are as stunning as they appear on the company’s carefully controlled presentation, but Microsoft announced that several hundred HoloLens devices would be available on site for Build attendees to try, so we’ll know soon.