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Major Takeaways:

  • Microsoft debuted a form of virtual teleportation via its Microsoft Hololens, with technical fellow Alex Kipman demonstrating some advanced holographic technologies with Nasa’s Jeff Norris.
  • Norris and Kipman were actually across the street, but appeared to be right next to each other due to the ‘holographic teleportation’ of the Hololens.
  • There are some remaining limitations for Hololens, including a very narrow field of view, and the fact that Microsoft needed to map the stage before the demonstration.
  • Microsoft will be delivering Hololens kits to developers soon, but has yet to determine a shipment date or price for consumer versions.

From the article at GeekWire:

Kipman, who is the technical fellow in Microsoft’s operating system group, didn’t just show off interactions with digital objects; he also brought NASA’s Jeff Norris onto his virtual stage. Norris was also wearing a HoloLens, but was physically across the street. The “holographic teleportation” allowed Kipman and Norris to behave like they were in the same room while actually standing hundreds of yards apart.

That demo also allowed Kipman to show off some of the unique interactions he hopes the HoloLens will enable. Norris and Kipman were able to look at a virtual Martian landscape onstage, which could let scientists delve deeper into data while a future Martian rover continues to collect more images.

“It did seem pretty real,” Niu told GeekWire. But a lot of the magic was in the presentation; the actual HoloLens experience won’t offer quite the same experience.

For one thing, the field of view on HoloLens demo units has beennotoriously narrow, so you’ll have to move your head around quite a bit to see the fully augmented world.

Even the setup wasn’t quite the same as what consumers will have. According to Re/code, Kipman said Microsoft had to map the TED stage before the demo, a step consumers won’t have to take.

But the demo gives more depth to Microsoft’s vision of our future in 3D interfaces. Microsoft will be delivering $3,000 HoloLens kits to developers sometime this quarter, but the company has yet to announce a price or launch date for the consumer versions.