Microsoft Hololens a year later – What about Microsoft’s ar-glasses?

Apr

4

2016

One of the most striking announcements last year was Microsoft Hololens. We got the chance to try out the augmentedrealitybril during Build 2015 and were impressed by the state of Microsoft’s development of the product. From hardware to software, there was a lot of work, it was clear, but that does not mean there had been a good end product. Before the consumer could be accessed, still had to be done a lot more work.

We are now further and has since Microsoft started a year with the delivery of the Developer Edition of Hololens the first batch of developers. Every three months, get a new batch of developers delivered the glasses. For three thousand dollars, the developers receive a package consisting of the glasses, a protective container and Clicker, a small remote control interface. Who does not want to spend that money, but wants to develop for the glasses, the can Hololens emulator running on his system.

Microsoft Hololens Build 2016

During Build 2016 we had the chance to try out the Developer Edition of Hololens. As in 2015 Microsoft showed us to participate in a “Holographic Academy, to create your own apps with Unity and Visual Studio. Luckily we were allowed to take pictures this time. Microsoft is trying as much as possible to move developers to create apps for the glasses, so that a large amount of software is available at an upcoming consumer release.

Microsoft Hololens Build 2016
When that release will take place and if it comes, is not yet known. Nor is it known what the final consumer version it will look like. Microsoft is the product in its current form at least good enough for developers already note to get started. And that’s apparently been a year since as regards hardware seems Developer Edition almost identical to the model that we set last year.

Thus, the biggest flaw is still present: the limited field of view for 3D images. It seemed slightly improved over last year, but like Microsoft promo videos, a few after suggesting, you can see the images still only two lens windows that are integrated into the seat. Those windows include not nearly your entire field of vision, and the result is that the 3D images, or holograms, “as Microsoft calls them, are often aborted midway, unless you take away. It is not known whether this problem to solve is, Microsoft has released nothing about. It is a problem, it is clear; it does seriously affect the experience of immersion and is a stumbling block to success.

Microsoft Hololens Build 2016Microsoft Hololens Build 2016
What is modified is the eye test in advance. Which calibration by means of the measurement of the distance between the pupils is needed to allow good images on the connecting eyes. Microsoft did last year with an external device, but has now been integrated calibration. You follow at first use a number of steps that you need to keep a finger a number of times for each eye. The camera in the Hololens scans your finger and calibrates as playback.

What we saw last time out, the start menu of Windows Holographic, the software where the glasses on running. That menu we could call in the Developer Edition to hold our hand for the glasses and open it. The menu you will follow in the middle of your field of vision; you can move a cursor move across the menu through your head lightly with a finger movement make a choice. Part of the menu is standard include Cortana, Edge Browser, feedback, Photo and Store.

Hololens Menu
The aim of the session during which Microsoft gave Build, was sharing ‘holograms’. Six users had to connect their glasses with each other, a laptop that served as a hub. Then, each user could specify when Unity which could have established a common reference point. All users would be able to see a virtual object together in the same place and everyone should be able to take this and put down somewhere. Finally, users could each choose an avatar, please on the shoulder of the user had to be visible to others.

holographic Academy
According to Microsoft opens endless possibilities as users can see each others ‘holograms’ and if there is a group of interacting with objects that all look the same place the group. At the demo session, however, did not approve. Avatars floated randomly in space and the central virtual object was found. According to the staff we had better map the area and not too much walking in each other’s field of vision, but offered little solace. Moreover, it happened more than once that the Hololens actions carried out on the basis of movements and voice commands from others who accidentally walked into the field.

Microsoft Hololens Build 2016Microsoft Hololens Build 2016Microsoft Hololens Build 2016Microsoft Hololens Build 2016Microsoft Hololens Build 2016Microsoft Hololens Build 2016Microsoft Hololens Build 2016Microsoft Hololens Build 2016
It remains a moving experience to see the augmentedrealitybeelden, around it to run from near and far to see and play with it. The session showed, however, that Microsoft still has much to iron out before there is a seamless user experience.

That Microsoft Hololens nevertheless as much as possible will provide to developers is not only to have a possible release, but also because the company is hoping that third parties come up with ideas that give legitimacy to the Hololens ready many apps. Microsoft makes clear as yet not really have clear where it needs to go with the device. Worldwide there are numerous companies and organizations engaged in prototype applications, from kitchen simulations , training programs for Saab and Japan Airlines, and anatomical education exercises to virtual showrooms of car manufacturers, architectural applications and 3D design with Autodesk.

Spectacular is the Mars-walk which NASA lets you create and Microsoft itself impressed with the Minecraft demo at E3. Scott Erickson new device marketing at Microsoft, emphasized during an interview that the Hololens however, is primarily not a game machine. This is the GPU currently also not nearly powerful enough.

One of the main projects developed, also from Microsoft itself: Galaxy Explorer. The community voted meanwhile arose around the Hololens this project to explore the area with the Hololens. Microsoft released the source code made ​​available for the project, so developers can use to build on the code and its parts.

To beautiful videos about Hololens missing it and are working hard on apps, but then? According to Microsoft is ultimately a consumer release, but it is not known when and missing even a rough estimate. Perhaps Microsoft follows a similar path as the Oculus Rift, and follow a few Developer Editions with the hardware is improved every time.

Greg Sullivan, communications manager for the Windows & Devices Group at Microsoft, would not mind it. “Hololens is a device of a new category. Fortunately, we are in a position where we can invest for a long term in such a project.” According to him, it is intended that third parties will soon make their own versions of the Hololens that there is an ecosystem of partners arises that can benefit from the Microsoft knowledge. “That saw you at the Surface. Many traditional partners and even our competitors are embracing our model for a two-in-one. We hope this happens at the Hololens.”

As it stands now would somehow be better if it takes years to come out of the glasses. On the one hand, Microsoft also here seem aware of comments that the company is still at the initial state of a long journey. On the other hand, the Redmond company with its spectacular demonstrations and videos the impression that the project is already almost finished. That is not and it is unfortunate that Microsoft has misrepresented. The glasses certainly has potential and there is still no competition. Magic Leap is doing something that closely resembles the Hololens experience, but this company operates under the radar, which seems a wise move. If there’s anything a success Hololens can stand in the way, it is that the public gets the idea that Microsoft can not live up to the high expectations

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