Microsoft have been having a hard time of it recently. Their share price has been gradually sliding downwards and they were beginning to feel like a dinosaur. Thankfully they’ve managed to turn things around with their development in Cloud storage and now they could be onto a winner in the AR space. In fact some experts believe the augmented reality sector will be five times larger than virtual reality by 2020!
So first the good news. Microsoft’s AR technology – HoloLens – will start shipping out in 2016. The bad news is that A) it will only be available to developers in the US and B) it will cost a whopping $3k for the privilege. Of course the price will go down for consumers at general release but we’re looking at quite some time until that happens.
This isn’t any ordinary gadget. No sir this is a very impressive piece of engineer more powerful than your average laptop and if you look at the photos there are no wires or connections. We won’t get bogged down in the technical intricacies but Microsoft’s HoloLens works by combining various specialist components (optical system, HPU etc) in order that you can interact freely with holograms in the real world. To see these holograms in action we recommend you check out the video available on the MSN site.
Is the HoloLens any good?
On first glance HoloLens looks like it has been built with high specification in mind. The resolutions are great and the fact that you can interact with holograms makes it more immersive. The headband has been designed with comfort in mind, especially important if you’re wearing it for long periods. It is adjustable to fit your head and the weight is precisely balanced for added comfort.
HoloLens will be launched with three playable games – Fragments (crime drama), Young Conker (moves platforming gaming to the real world) and RoboRaid (a first person shooter) – along with a load of non-gaming apps such as HoloStudio and HoloTour.
Of course the advantages of augmented reality are certainly substantial. With AR and the use of HoloLens you are able to blend the line between the digital world and the real world creating a more believable experience. HoloLens also gives developers an almost limitless amount of potential to create incredible experiences.
However there are so many unknowns to the HoloLens that its difficult to tell if its going to be a hit or a flop. Firstly we don’t know the launch date or pricing which could have an impact on mass appeal. Secondly, compared to VR the limited field of view is going to be an issue for others to enjoy using this technology.
HoloLens on its release will feature a number of games and tech that will help showcase the power of AR and give it some much needed PR over its publicity dominant virtual reality cousins. Difficult to say if the HoloLens will be any good but if we were to judge this ‘book’ by a its cover it looks like Microsoft are onto a winner. Keep up to date on the latest news by visiting the official HoloLens site.