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Thread: Microsoft Hololens

  1. #1
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland

    Microsoft Hololens



    Live Demonstration

    WIRED's hands-on impressions

    The company I work for has been focusing on Augmented Reality for a while now and I've got a fair bit of experience in making AR apps for Android/iOS with Metaio and Vuforia's SDKs for Unity, plus I've tried out Google Glass and one other pair AR glasses, so you can take my expert opinion for it when I say that what MS has unveiled here is pretty darn impressive. The quality of the tracking and the low latency seen in the live demonstration outdoes hardware currently on the market, and the interaction via hand gestures is something totally new to AR glasses. Oh sure the thing is big and bulky, but this is basically the AR glass equivalent of those briefcase-sized 80's mobilephones. The sizes will get smaller and lighter eventually, but this is a very impressive early step.

    No doubt the first version will be quite expensive, and I wouldn't bet on it catching on as a consumer product just yet, but for things like Remote Assistance in industries it could be a big deal.

  2. #2
    Moderator
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: Wales
    I was reading about it yesterday in this article about Windows 10.

    Microsoft has revealed that Windows 10 will bring its voice-controlled assistant Cortana to PCs.

    It also unveiled a headset that it said would one day project the operating system over views of the real world.

    In addition, the firm announced that the OS upgrade would be offered free of charge for devices running Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Phone.
    It's all a bit beyond my comprehension really but looks fantastic.

  3. #3
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    The old issue with AR is you had to have an index image in the real world to calibrate it, and even then it wasn't all that stable.
    I guess it was just a matter of working out the kinks though. This appears to be beating Google Glass on features and polish at least.

    Just a matter of time until they rig it into a pair of glasses, then contact lenses, then they may as well embed it into people's eyeballs, and the next thing you know our minds will be running on Windows 20.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Personally I'm still confused how we went from Windows 8 to Windows 10 without a 9 in between...

  5. #5
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Terrible and confusing product version names are MS' forté.

    edit: I'm going to go ahead and predict the names of the Hololens series right now.

    MS Hololens > Hololens 2 > Hololens Nuevo > Hololens 2018 > Hololens One

    I hope MS is reading this, I just saved them a few million bucks in advertising agency expenses.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by DarkForge View Post
    Personally I'm still confused how we went from Windows 8 to Windows 10 without a 9 in between...
    I'm still amazed they once went from Windows 7 to Windows 8. Very out of character.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2014
    Location: Bangalore, India
    Related: When they released this image, reading the article made me wonder if they were going to call their next (fourth-generation) Xbox the 'Xbox Two'.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: Formby, NW England

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    Quote Originally Posted by DarkForge View Post
    Personally I'm still confused how we went from Windows 8 to Windows 10 without a 9 in between...
    They can't have a Windows 9, because it potentially causes conflicts with Windows 95/98, e.g. if an installer checks for Windows 9x.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2007
    Location: Finger paintings of the insane
    Quote Originally Posted by nicked View Post
    They can't have a Windows 9, because it potentially causes conflicts with Windows 95/98, e.g. if an installer checks for Windows 9x.
    That was my guess! Yay, my brain isn't completely dead yet!

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: I think I've been here
    Quote Originally Posted by nicked View Post
    They can't have a Windows 9, because it potentially causes conflicts with Windows 95/98, e.g. if an installer checks for Windows 9x.
    Am I supposed to believe that Microsoft cares enough about legacy 3rd party software to skip a Windows version number?
    We're talking about the company that places 64bit DLLs in the System32 folder, while 32bit DLLs need to be in SysWOW64 now.
    How big is the chance that instead some marketing droid convinced them that "10" sounds more accomplished and stable than "9"?

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    Well that's likely another reason, and compatibility code is a nice side effect. Windows 10 sounds analogous to Mac OSX, could be another reason. Microsoft skipped it for no good reason just to get people talking about it to build hype, very likely. Microsoft aren't really very good at consistent numerical order at the best of times (Xbox One, anyone?).

  13. #13
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    I'm astounded they didn't call it windows X. Microsoft, if you're reading this, give me a cut of whatever Henke's getting.

  14. #14
    This'll fail for the same reason 3d tv failed. Namely people don't want to wear an oversized pair of hi-tech specs all the time. For a two hour moive at the cinema it's just about acceptable, possibly, but for everyday wear, nah.

  15. #15
    Wearing glasses introduces a whole new layer of awkwardness as well as you have to wear these devices over your existing ones.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    But it's the future - haven't we cured bad eyesight by now?

  17. #17
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    If they fit a computer into a bulky pair of glasses, where the monitor is hovering in front of you as big as you want to size it, I could see people reasoning that as a mobile device it's better than lugging a laptop or a pad around.

  18. #18
    I get the feeling that this product is more for work users than recreational, judging by it's advertised functionality and feature set. That crowd is going to be a lot less worried about looking like a dork.

  19. #19
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    I'm astounded they didn't call it windows X. Microsoft, if you're reading this, give me a cut of whatever Henke's getting.
    I'm astounded you didn't stop to think that would break every piece of code that tries to parse that part of the Windows version as a number.

  20. #20
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    I had no idea code was so fragile.

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Windows NT, Windows Vista, it's hardly unprecedented to not have a number there. And programs really shouldn't be reading the headline string anyway, given that a nice set of standardized numbers (that have eff-all to do with the branding) are readily available.

  22. #22
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    MS hosted the Build Conference last week and showed off more of the Hololens, and let the press try it out.



    More

    A few hands-on impressions:
    http://www.techradar.com/reviews/wea...1281834/review
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/9213/m...lolens-handson
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/aarontil...make-you-sick/

    The word on the street is that it's pretty good, as far as AR glasses go. Minimal lag and good tracking. There is one big sticking point though, and it's brought up in every article I've read. The field of view is really small. Your regular peripheral vision isn't hindered by it, but the actual augmented content (the stuff that gets rendered by the device and overlaid on the real world) is restricted to a small rectangle in the middle of your view. So if you actually wanna see your augmented TV on the wall, you gotta look straight at it. I've tried a couple other AR glasses(Google & Epson) and they had this same issue as well. I was kinda hoping MS would've found a way past this restriction.

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Mar 1999
    Location: I can't find myself
    The FOV thing seems especially weird since the unit is so goddam huge. Google Glass obviously wasn't going to fill anyone's vision since the display was just that little box above the right eye. That Hololens is a big HMD that fully covers both eyes, but still doesn't display anything outside of a box in the center of your view is a pretty massive design flaw, and creates a much larger disconnect between their pitch videos and stage demos than what the actual user experience will be, and that'll kill it dead.

  24. #24

  25. #25
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    That's a hefty pricetag, but it's also in the neighbourhood of what other high-end AR glasses cost. The ODG R-7 is $2750, and is the one we'll probably be getting at our company, since it's well-integrated with the Vuforia SDK, which is what we already use for most of our AR apps.

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