New Holographic Platform From Microsoft To Change The Face Of Computing
Holograms have been working their way beyond movie screens and into the real world for sometime now. While they used to be the stock of science fiction flicks, now you can see them at airports, museums, theme parks and a variety of other locations. Last year, Microsoft’s HoloLens received a lot of attention for the magic it provided users donning the futuristic headsets needed for what the brand described as a blended reality experience. Now, Microsoft has come up with its Windows Holographic, an attempt to turn virtual technology into a platform open to third-party developers for creating apps and games for use on a number of electronic devices.
Virtual World vs. the Real World
Creating virtual worlds is something sci-fi geeks and techies have dreamed about for years. Apparently, the world we live in isn’t real enough for some people — or, perhaps it’s too real and they’re in pursuit of a world they can shape into a vision that’s somehow more appealing. Let’s face it, if you were Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky the surreal world you lived in would be abundantly more attractive than the real world. While this new technology is undoubtedly extremely cool, like all technological advances it’s not without its potential for abuse. People have already gotten so wrapped up in video games taking them away that they’ve lost their jobs over it and some have even died. You can imagine where this will lead us.
Unveiled on Wednesday in Taipei during Computex CES, the platform is supposed to allow users to blend the two worlds for an enhanced experience viewable through electronic devices with three things: a screen, a camera and location services. "Windows Holographic is coming to devices of all shapes and sizes from fully immersive virtual reality to fully untethered holographic computing," Terry Myerson, head of Windows and devices, was noted as saying. "[We're looking ahead] to the future of computing, where the physical and virtual worlds intersect in all new ways, and create further scale for the Windows platform."
The group envisions computers, displays, headsets for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) and various accessories all being developed using Holographic. That platform includes application-programming interfaces for both holographs and perception technology. It’s said that Holographic apps will be built on the Universal Windows Platform. Back in January 2015, Microsoft voiced its intention to incorporate mixed and augmented reality computing into its software when it unveiled the HoloLens headset furnished with a holographic processing chip designed to interpret and respond to user movements that include air taps.
Practical Uses of Windows Holographic
Beyond goofing off at home purely for entertainment purposes, the practical uses for technology like this include global teleconferences where all parties involved could project themselves into the same virtual space whether they’re wearing an Oculus Rift, HoloLens or HTC Vive headset, because the technology would allow them to shake hands, so to speak, by retrieving data from each and rendering them compatible with one another. If you’ve ever taken part in a webinar, you could see where this could be useful. As convenient as these confabs are, it’s often difficult to determine who is speaking without seeing a face to put a voice to.
What are your thoughts on virtual/augmented reality? Would you buy technology like this or do you already own a piece of it? We’d like to hear your thoughts.