It’s been more than two weeks since Microsoft Hololens was unveiled along with Windows 10. As you all know by now, Microsoft Hololens is an augmented reality headset which will overlay digital content onto your real world surroundings. With a set of motion sensors and a Kinect style camera, the headset can recognize objects and find out the location of the wearer in the room. With voice and gesture controls, the headset provides an immersive experience for the users.
Here are more than 10 views from review experts and virtual reality developers on this AR headset.
Dieter Bohn and Tom Warren
“The prototype is a small, heavy block you hang around your neck which contains all the computing power. HoloLens is probably the most intriguing (and, in many ways, most infuriating) technology we’ve experienced since the Oculus Rift.” Pointing out similarities between the two they said that “both are immersive and require you to strap a weird thing on your head”.
Bio: Dieter Bohn is the Executive Editor for The Verge. Before that he was the Editor in Chief for the Smartphone Experts family of sites. Tom Warren is a Senior Editor for The Verge.
“The demo was unique in that it showcased a feasible and realistic use of augmented reality that wasn’t bombastic or meant to marvel.”
Bio: Nick Statt is a staff writer for CNET and was earlier an editor for ReadWrite.
“I say this in the nicest way possible: Using Microsoft HoloLens kinda stinks. In its current form, it feels like someone is tightening your head into a vice…You can literally feel the heat coming off the computer’s fans, which face upward. It feels like you’re wearing a computer around your neck, because you are.”
“In its current state, HoloLens is far from ready for public consumption.”
Bio: Ben Gilbert is the Senior Editor at Engadget.
“One of the most amazing and tantalizing experiences.” Hollister said that Microsoft has found “a way to merge reality and CG together.” He pointed out that the problem with Hololens is “there’s just no good way to reach out and touch objects right now.”
Bio: Sean Hollister is the Reviews Editor at Gizmodo. He had co-founded The Verge.
“You cannot underestimate how important this is for Microsoft. It is arguably the first real attempt from the company to position itself ahead of the market again, instead of reacting to the innovations of Android and iOS.”
“Windows 10 has a very grand vision for how Microsoft’s operating system can work for devices beyond mobile, to include the Internet of Things, and there is also clear support for their Cloud based offerings. This should be a wake up call to everyone who has written Microsoft off, they have an incredible talent pool and it would be a refreshing game changer if they manage to start innovating to their true potential by shaking off the shackles of their big corporate past.”
Bio: Jacques Kotze is the Chief Officer of Technology of Adludio, an advertising firm.
Virtual Reality Developers
“It seems like a natural extension of Microsoft’s Kinect research in many ways: sort of like sticking a Kinect on your head – but you are not tracked, your room is. If they can also solve the “transparency” issue (images appearing ghostly rather than solid) and get a bigger field of view then it could really be quite special. By all accounts the tracking is excellent.”
“Microsoft will need to learn the lessons of Kinect and ensure the software is there to justify the existence of the hardware. Skype and Minecraft will only get them so far.”
Bio: Nick Pittom is a VR developer and founder of FirePanda.
“Microsoft is probably trying to reach the audience Nintendo left behind when it went from the Wii to the Wii U.”
“The biggest plus AR has, is that it can be a social experience. Imagine a dad playing Minecraft with his kids – with AR, he’d be able to interact directly with them and help them to build a castle. You could have a game of Dungeons and Dragons where your environment changes before your eyes on the whim of the Game Master. You could go on a quest around your home to find Pokémon, or play a real-time-strategy game where each player sees a “fog of war” on their opponent’s side of the room. The possibilities are endless.”
Bio: Daniel Ernst is a virtual reality developer at the Shoebox Diorama. He creates interactive illustrations and is a 3D gaming enthusiast and game designer.
“For a prototype it certainly seems like they’ve done a very good job on producing the illusion of a solid object appearing before you — and that’s really exciting. It’s one of the things that good AR systems need to be able to do well, and has been very hard to achieve.”
Bio: Hrafn Thorisson is the CEO of Aldin Dynamics and a Research Specialist at Icelandic Institute for Intelligent Machines.
“The lack of a controller has its pros and cons. In an ideal world, players will not only be able to pull off all the organic interactions they want to do, but also feel a feedback response. The Hololens concepts I’ve seen so far are missing any sort of touch feedback, so developers will have to work especially hard compensating with visual and audio clues. Also, users with movement difficulties may struggle with applications that only use just gesture control.”
“Turning any room into a virtual environment will be incredible. I can’t wait to be able to use the device as my virtual projector, have my e-wallpaper update with movies and photos, or play games where my favourite characters stand full height inside my room. AR interactive stories will start to become a thing, where you can sit in your living room and have characters act out scenes in front of you – your own personal theatre production. And AR board games! Having pieces come to life will be magical.”
Bio: Catherine or Katie Goode is the co-founder of Triangular Pixels and a game designer at Preloaded.
“It seems like Microsoft has cracked one of the key challenges with augmented reality by providing a headset that understands the user’s environment.”
“I’m very much of the mindset that VR and AR will complement each other beautifully. Seeing the recently-revealed Leap Motion quick-switch, which allows users to switch between VR and reality, had my imagination running wild, and not being tethered to a chair is clearly useful.”
“In terms of device specifics, I’m really interested in the holographic display itself, and would love to know a little more about what kind of technology it’s using. I’m sure details on the GPU, CPU, etc, are a long way away.”
“There’s huge potential for gaming, engineering, planners, architects and a ton of other industries. Opposable Games is already working with engineering companies on augmented reality so we can see the benefits it has to offer first-hand.”
Bio: Dan Page is the New Business, Marketing and Community Manager of Opposable Games and also VR Evangelist at SouthWest VR.
“Microsoft got it spot on with the form factor. Moving the processing into the HMD itself, making it wireless, is something we’ve been keen to see introduced into VR for some time now. Finding design and technical solutions to deal with the weight, heat and power issues related to this approach is a big challenge, so it’s very exciting to see they’re tackling it with Hololens.”
“VR is extremely processing intensive, requiring a lot of CPU and GPU power. AR, on the other hand, can be done with lighter hardware. So if you’re going for a wireless, self-contained HMD, AR is the best option with the current technology. On the surface, AR also enables more social interactions as illustrated by the Hololens Skype demos, while VR’s strengths lie in full immersion at the expense of the reality around you. From a content point of view, AR also makes it much easier to deal with issues such as motion sickness by keeping real reference points in view, so developers may enjoy more freedom as creators.”
Bio: Henrique Olifiers is the Co-founder and Gamer-in-Chief at the Bossa Studios.
What do you think?
After going through the views of the experts, what do you think about Microsoft Hololens? Will it bring about a change in augmented reality? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Image Credits: microsoft.com