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posted by janrinok on Wednesday July 08 2015, @04:42AM   Printer-friendly
from the I-see-what-they-did-there dept.

Microsoft is giving HoloLens prototypes and funding to academic institutions in order to create applications for the augmented reality device:

The so-called Academic Research Request for Proposals will award five universities or institutions with $100,000 each, as well as two HoloLens kits. Although the goal is to see how the device will help research of all types, the company is looking at how it will impact studies in a few specific areas.

In order to be considered for one of the five prizes, applicants (restricted to U.S. residents only) must submit a one- to three-page proposal paper by 11:30pm PDT on September 5, 2015. Information includes an abstract of the proposal as well as a detailed description, the approach to research, use of funds and an overall schedule of the entire project. After submission, the application will be considered using a few criteria such as its overall impact in terms of scholarly papers and presentations, how feasible is the project for completion, and the overall qualifications of the main investigator. Microsoft noted that the $100,000 funding will end after one year, as it is only meant to kickstart projects. Researchers should also look into finding multiple avenues of funding during and after Microsoft's investment.

The academic research is but one of the many paths that Microsoft will pursue to test the use of HoloLens. Last month, it collaborated with NASA for Project Sidekick, which would use two HoloLens devices in the International Space Station to enhance Skype communication with a NASA operator on Earth, as well as a standalone procedure that involves using its augmented reality software on top of real-world items in order to train astronauts while in the station. However, the devices never made it to the International Space Station, as the SpaceX shuttle carrying them exploded early in the flight.

This terrestrial HoloLens giveaway seems a lot safer. Microsoft is looking for industrial/medical/research/educational motivations for using augmented reality, just as Google was with Glass. A recent FCC filing suggests that Google Glass may be quietly resurrected.


Original Submission

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: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 08 2015, @04:47AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 08 2015, @04:47AM (#206345)

    Put students to work, while they are still naive enough to work for free.

    Microsoft is trying so hard to be as evil as Google. Summer of Code? More like Summer of Slavery! Toil at those keyboards, for the glory of Google!

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 08 2015, @06:37AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 08 2015, @06:37AM (#206359)

      Microsoft has been actively pursuing policies that are harmful to their customers for decades. As bad as Google may be, compared to Redmond, they are pure rainbows and sunshine.

      • (Score: 2, Disagree) by Tork on Wednesday July 08 2015, @07:10AM

        by Tork (3914) on Wednesday July 08 2015, @07:10AM (#206367)
        Are you even aware of how Google makes money? You should look into that before you talk about how consumer friendly they are compared to Microsoft.
        --
        Slashdolt Logic: "24 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 08 2015, @02:23PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 08 2015, @02:23PM (#206468)
          Are you even aware of how Microsoft makes money? They sit in front of nearly every computer for sale and essentially collect a tax, whether you want their product or not. How is what Google does to make money worse than that? They use what they know about you to try to sell you stuff, sure. But what do they have to do in order to make that happen? Their search engine (and other services like GMail) needs to be top-notch, otherwise people would go elsewhere, and they'd stop selling ads and their revenue will dry up. Who is more consumer-friendly then? Google has to please you in order to make money from you. Microsoft can force shit into your mouth and you'll have no choice but to swallow it and pay them for the privilege. I'm finding it hard to find laptops without Windows 8 installed on them. I dread the day that this Windows 7 laptop I have today hits obsolescence and needs to be replaced.
          • (Score: 2) by Tork on Wednesday July 08 2015, @03:25PM

            by Tork (3914) on Wednesday July 08 2015, @03:25PM (#206476)
            Whatever data you give Google, they keep. That means twenty years from now they will still have whatever you gave them today. By then they'll be under entirely different management with no way to predict what their motives will be. You can also bet that whatever Google collects about you ends up in the hands of the US gov't. I dare you to log in and tell me that's actually preferable to a Microsoft Tax.
            --
            Slashdolt Logic: "24 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 08 2015, @04:46PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 08 2015, @04:46PM (#206505)

              Microsoft's products send your data home too so it's possible all of the same objections might apply. There are often opt-outs in Microsoft software to prevent data being sent to Microsoft but considering they wrote the entire OS, how confident are you that other data isn't being stored and perhaps transmitted at some point?

              • (Score: 2) by Tork on Wednesday July 08 2015, @05:08PM

                by Tork (3914) on Wednesday July 08 2015, @05:08PM (#206516)
                How confident are you that any data Microsoft gets is even a significant fraction of what Google gets from you?
                --
                Slashdolt Logic: "24 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 08 2015, @10:53AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 08 2015, @10:53AM (#206414)

    Why don't they just pay people to make apps? That would be much more honest.