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Major Takeaways:

  • The Microsoft HoloLens development team has been working on software to demonstrate the potential of the HoloLens AR headset
  • The latest project, Galaxy Explorer, an application designed to let users explore celestial bodies and learn about the mechanics of the universe through direct interaction
  • The application allows for the use of Gaze, Gesture, and Voice inputs to interact with celestial bodies as viewed through the HoloLens
  • One can see how these sorts of applications will be useful in education and training use cases

From the Microsoft blog post:

Last week I told you all that we were going to be focusing on prototyping.  And did we ever!

We completed four prototypes this week.  Here’s what we did

Input and Interactions

BJ and Mike dug in to using Gaze, Gesture, and Voice to interact with celestial bodies.  They did a prototype for selecting objects using Gaze and another one for using your hand to move an object around or to “extract the core” from a planet.

core

We also got a bonus prototype since BJ finished early and that’s just how he rolls.  He went and built a demo where you can fill the bottom-half of Jupiter with Earths to compare their relative scale.  You can fit about 500 Earths in half of Jupiter!

Rendering

We wanted to see what it would take to get a galaxy to look good.  Karim and Alex came up with a pretty spectacular approach using density wave theory + a volumetric cloud rendered with a light field that’s already looking very pretty.  They also called in one of our ringers, Tony Ambrus, to “math it up” a bit.  Thanks Tony!

galaxy

Transitions

Steve, Andy, Denise, and Lena investigated how we might use audio and visuals to comfortably communicate change of state and distance.  This was an example of a content-based prototype: one that involved no coding.  They were able to pre-visualize transitions from large scale to small (and back again) and view this all “on device” to understand how they look and feel.

solarsystem

Tone

Jedd created a beautiful piece of artwork that communicates the feel we’re shooting for.  I’ll just let that speak for itself.

tone