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posted by janrinok on Thursday January 22 2015, @03:15PM   Printer-friendly
from the more-likely-than-flying-cars dept.

TheLink writes:

A story from CNet has previews of Microsoft's Hololens - an augmented reality product::

REDMOND, Wash. -- In the bowels of Building 92, hidden underneath the company's public visitor center in a secret series of labs, Microsoft let a few people try out what may be the most ambitious Windows device ever made: a holographic headset that aims to rival the most advanced virtual reality devices out there.

Microsoft's HoloLens is expected to run Windows 10 and apps -- holographic ones that will float in front of your line of vision and apps that can be run on phones, tablets, PCs and the Xbox One game console. With the holographic programs, Microsoft is trying to transform how we think about computing, productivity and communication. Just as VR rivals Oculus (owned by Facebook) and Google are trying to reimagine virtual experiences with their head-worn devices, Microsoft wants us to imagine a world without screens, where information merely floats in front of you.

"We're not talking about putting you into virtual worlds," HoloLens leader Alex Kipman said Wednesday during an event at Microsoft's headquarters here. "We're dreaming beyond virtual worlds, beyond screens, beyond pixels."

http://www.theverge.com/2015/1/21/7868251/microsoft-hololens-hologram-hands-on-experience
http://www.wired.com/2015/01/microsoft-hands-on/

Related Stories

Microsoft Announces $3,500 HoloLens 2 With Wider Field of View and Other Improvements 5 comments

Microsoft Reveals HoloLens 2 with More than 2x Field of View & 47 Pixels per-Degree

Microsoft today revealed HoloLens 2 at MWC 2019 in Barcelona. The headset features a laser-scanning display which brings a field of view that's more than 2x the original HoloLens and 47 pixels per degree.

HoloLens visionary Alex Kipman took to the stage in Barcelona to introduce HoloLens 2 which addresses many of the key criticisms of the original headset: field of view, comfort, and hand-tracking.

Kipman says that HoloLens 2 "more than doubles" the field of view of the original HoloLens, though hasn't yet specified exactly what the field of view is. The original HoloLens field of view was around 35 degrees, so HoloLens 2 is expected to be around 70 degrees.

[...] HoloLens 2 is also designed to be more comfortable, with much of the headset's bulk balanced in the back of the headset. Kipman said HoloLens 2 "more than triples the comfort" over the original HoloLens... though the exact weight, and how they came to that specific figure, is unclear. Still, the front portion of the headset is said to be made entirely from carbon fiber to cut down on weight and offers a convenient flip-up visor.

HoloLens 2 also brings hand-tracking which goes much further than the coarse gesture control in the original headset. Now with full hand-tracking, users can interact much more directly with applications by touching, poking, and sliding controls directly rather than using abstract gestures.

Also at Engadget.

See also: HoloLens 2 Specs Reveal 2–3 Hour 'Active' Battery Life, Optional Top Strap, & More
Mozilla is bringing Firefox to Microsoft's HoloLens 2

Previously: HoloLens - Microsoft's Augmented Reality Product
Microsoft Giving $500,000 to Academia to Develop HoloLens Apps
Microsoft Announces Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, and HoloLens Dev Edition
Microsoft HoloLens and its 24-Core Chip
HoloLens 2 to Include Machine Learning Accelerated Hardware
Ford Using Microsoft HoloLens to Help Design Cars
Leaked Microsoft Documents Describe Plans for Surface Tablets, Xbox, "Andromeda", and HoloLens
HoloLens to Assist Surgeons at UK's Alder Hey Children's Hospital
U.S. Army Awards Microsoft a $480 Million HoloLens Contract


Original Submission

Microsoft Could Build a Life-Sized Cortana for HoloLens; Cortana for iOS and Android Launches 16 comments

VentureBeat reports on one of the user suggestions that have been made for HoloLens (an augmented reality headset) app development:

One of the more interesting parts of the Microsoft's HoloLens augmented reality initiative is the way Microsoft is listening to the public to direct some of its early-stage app development for the platform, through the Share Your Idea website launched earlier this month.

One of the top three ideas on the site, based on votes, is called Cortana in Person. Cortana, of course, is Microsoft's personal digital assistant that plays a starring role in Windows 10. She's a Siri competitor that, as gamers will know, was derived from the Cortana artificial intelligence character in the Halo series of games.

"Hologram of Cortana from Halo who you can talk to and interact with," forum user LookItsKris wrote in his description of the idea for Cortana in Person. "Works in the same way as Cortana on desktop/phone. Get answers to questions etc. Maybe ask a question on HoloLens and answers come through on phone? Possibilities are endless."

"Dude, that would be so awesome. A real-life Cortana," commenter H4rmonicAn4rchy wrote. "Who wouldn't want that?!"

Because Microsoft will actually build the top three ideas from the site, there is a chance that Microsoft will bring the idea to life for HoloLens, whose $3,000 development kits will be shipping in the first quarter of 2016.

The Cortana digital assisstant has been launched for iOS and Android devices, although some features will be limited compared to the Windows versions.

Previously: Microsoft Giving $500,000 to Academia to Develop HoloLens Apps
Microsoft Announces Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, and HoloLens Dev Edition


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Thursday January 22 2015, @03:39PM

    by ikanreed (3164) on Thursday January 22 2015, @03:39PM (#136968) Journal

    But glass was gigantic a failure, and the Rift has had serious drawbacks.

    Microsoft has a lot of bad blood from other companies attempts at the class of product they're unveiling to overcome, and that's not counting the bad blood the name "Microsoft" automatically invokes.

    If it's got "projectors" as the main interface like the verge article suggests, then it's a fundamentally incompatible UI with being around other people. If the projectors have some other purpose(like the kinect ones for ranging), I guess that problem is nil, but color me skeptical nottheless.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 22 2015, @03:47PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 22 2015, @03:47PM (#136972)

      Ok but it's nothing that some careful marketing can't overcome.
      Personally I suggest coupling the Terribly named hololens with some smart wristwatch and name it "Mark of the beast".

      Such an operation is of course not aimed at selling stuff, it's more a thing to poison Apple's and Google's well. God Bless Patents.

      • (Score: 2) by Bot on Thursday January 22 2015, @03:58PM

        by Bot (3902) on Thursday January 22 2015, @03:58PM (#136975) Journal

        > "Microsoft wants us to imagine a world without screens, where information merely floats in front of you."

        I imagined it and the first thing I saw was an ad popup without a close button.

        Which is not a problem.

        The problem is that it's probably the first thing Microsoft saw too.

        --
        Account abandoned.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 22 2015, @04:28PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 22 2015, @04:28PM (#136980)

          The problem is that it's probably the first thing Microsoft saw tooth.

          FTFY

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @01:50AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @01:50AM (#137098)

        Ok but it's nothing that some careful marketing can't overcome.

        And a whole bunch of losers willing to be called holodicks if they ever wear it in public.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 22 2015, @03:55PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 22 2015, @03:55PM (#136974)

      "We're dreaming beyond virtual worlds, beyond screens, beyond pixels."

      They can get back to me when they begin dreaming past bulky goggles.

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday January 22 2015, @04:31PM

        by c0lo (156) on Thursday January 22 2015, @04:31PM (#136982) Journal

        They can get back to me when they begin dreaming past bulky googles.

        Bing! FTFY

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @02:41AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @02:41AM (#137118)

          Glassholes and Holodicks can all meet to compare notes. Just not in that bar in Seattle that'll kick their asses if they go in...

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 22 2015, @05:24PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 22 2015, @05:24PM (#136998)

        It'd be nice to have my whole face covered nowadays; assuming it'll be legal to wear in the street.

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday January 22 2015, @04:09PM

      by c0lo (156) on Thursday January 22 2015, @04:09PM (#136977) Journal
      Good luck to them. Thinking as far back as Bob and Clippy, their consumer-oriented research labs seems in dire need for it.
      (no, Kinect wasn't their idea, the ranging camera tech was bought from PrimeSense [wikipedia.org]. And XBox? nothing innovative at the moment they went to market with it)
      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 22 2015, @04:29PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 22 2015, @04:29PM (#136981)

      It depends on how (and to whom) they market it. I could well see that as very useful in the operating room, for example to project medical data (like tomographic scans) directly onto the patient. I don't think there's much bad blood about such goggles in that field, and it's also not medical doctors who usually dislike Microsoft. Also, it's a field where you can sell quite expensively. Also pilots might appreciate it if during ILS, they get the calculated position of the runway shown directly. I'm sure there are more professions which would appreciate such a tool.

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by sigma on Friday January 23 2015, @08:27AM

        by sigma (1225) on Friday January 23 2015, @08:27AM (#137178)

        Also pilots might appreciate it if during ILS, they get the calculated position of the runway shown directly.

        I can just imagine the black box recording transcript now.

        Pilot: "The weather looks good, nothing but clear blue sky. We'll be landing on runway 0x7E: SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED in just a few moments..."

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by tibman on Thursday January 22 2015, @07:29PM

      by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 22 2015, @07:29PM (#137037)

      From the demo i didn't see a material they were projecting onto. So we don't know exactly what the user sees or how they see it. An example of augmented reality using projectors can be seen here: http://technicalillusions.com/ [technicalillusions.com]

      --
      SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @09:04AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @09:04AM (#137185)

        They're projecting onto the retina. They're AR goggles, not a display. The confusion is understandable; the video doesn't make any attempt to tell you what the project actually does.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 22 2015, @10:42PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 22 2015, @10:42PM (#137072)

      Glass was not a consumer product. It was a test. It didn't "fail", it succeeded in testing the hardware. It got plenty of good press along with the "glasshole" label. The consumer version will have 2 or 2 and a half years of hardware and battery life improvements. Wait for a consumer release before labeling it a "gigantic failure". Even if it only ends up on the faces of surgeons and construction workers, it's still a potentially profitable device for Google.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @02:57AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @02:57AM (#137124)

      Looks pretty nifty to me. If you are Forced to use windows to be able to use it, I'll pass. But, if it is relatively open, and the fake photos of what the user sees on the Wired link are even close to reality, then I would like to play with one.

      Will haloholes join glassholes wearing these at coffee shops? I doubt it. Will MS most likely see its greatest success as a gaming peripheral? Probably.

    • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Friday January 23 2015, @01:35PM

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Friday January 23 2015, @01:35PM (#137227) Homepage Journal

      The first problem is the name; stereoscopic vision is only a part of real 3-D. Real holograms give real 3-D, these do not.

      The second problem is you can make one with cardboard, a couple of lenses, and an android phone: phone + $2 parts = "hololens".

      It's all marketing.

      --
      Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 22 2015, @05:08PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 22 2015, @05:08PM (#136994)

    You have to be in an Augmented Reality to use it.

  • (Score: 2) by useless on Thursday January 22 2015, @05:25PM

    by useless (426) on Thursday January 22 2015, @05:25PM (#136999)

    Unless I missed it early in the video, they never showed a front, full face shot view of anyone wearing the thing. Kind of odd. But hey, at least we know what they are doing with Minecraft now.

    • (Score: 2) by tibman on Thursday January 22 2015, @07:23PM

      by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 22 2015, @07:23PM (#137033)

      We also didn't get to see actual footage of what a wearer sees (even if only 2d). I suspect it is very low resolution and framerate at the moment.

      --
      SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
    • (Score: 2) by jimshatt on Thursday January 22 2015, @08:02PM

      by jimshatt (978) on Thursday January 22 2015, @08:02PM (#137043) Journal
      And funnily enough, we *do* get to see someone making a VR-Skype call to someone not wearing it. Probably because it looks stupid.
  • (Score: 2) by jimshatt on Thursday January 22 2015, @08:05PM

    by jimshatt (978) on Thursday January 22 2015, @08:05PM (#137044) Journal
    New! The HolyLens!
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 22 2015, @08:17PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 22 2015, @08:17PM (#137046)

    Now we can punch Clippy in the face!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Rl5SOuq6-g [youtube.com]

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 22 2015, @09:11PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 22 2015, @09:11PM (#137053)

    Once again, MS is a day late and a dollar short.

    While being pretty big in 2010-2012, AR basically sucks, and nobody wants it.

    The takeaway? Start shorting Microsoft, I guess. They're out of their element here, and like a lot of their other recent expensive tech flops, this one is going to just end up costing them money.

  • (Score: 2) by Geotti on Thursday January 22 2015, @09:11PM

    by Geotti (1146) on Thursday January 22 2015, @09:11PM (#137054) Journal

    There's also Meta AR (https://www.spaceglasses.com) and CastAR (http://technicalillusions.com).

  • (Score: 2) by novak on Friday January 23 2015, @09:23AM

    by novak (4683) on Friday January 23 2015, @09:23AM (#137187) Homepage

    The first thing I thought was "This looks cool." Before I worried about resolution, aspect ratio, effective PPI, or anything else. The next was "I bet it only runs on windows." And if it does, I'll never use it. More importantly, unlike in the 90s where MS could do whatever they want, a lot of people won't use it as phones are their major computing devices. It would be almost funny to see MS twisting to try to get people to buy back into their ecosystem to be screwed, without having a single thing to offer besides "shiny."

    Realistically, there are other VR and AR projects out there, years ahead of this one. I'm curious if they have any secret strategies or killer apps, or if they just plan to be years late to the party, as usual.

    --
    novak