Microsoft demonstrated the practicality of its HoloLens augmented reality technology at last week’s Microsoft BUILD developers conference. While it may not be as exciting as stepping into an immersive experience with virtual reality, the technology opens the door for some compelling practical applications, whether that involves educating medical students or building virtual models of rocket ships. Possibilities for business and the home is what may help augmented reality catch on and improve people’s lives.
Microsoft tapped several professionals to explain how augmented reality apps could benefit their work. A representative from a medical school demonstrated how the virtual nature of the holograms would allow students to focus on an individual body system while still observing how that system would work in a real body.
Students could enlarge and manipulate virtual organs to study them in closer detail, reports Wired. Scientists, engineers, architects, and other professionals could also utilize the technology for building virtual models.
Augmented reality sets itself apart from virtual reality because these productivity apps are designed to be interactive, according to The Verge. Users will create something. They won’t just be observing, like they often are with VR experiences. HoloLens provides a new way to move beyond simple media consumption to participation and productivity.
Other applications for the home may not sound entertaining, but they are also based around productivity. The promo video shows a to-do list appearing automatically on the refrigerator. Kids could build “Minecraft” worlds in their own rooms or long-distance friends could have conversations over Skype right in the living room. People are already doing this on their phones and desktops. Why not bring it one step further into the physical world?
Unity Will Be Able to Build Games for Microsoft’s HoloLens, TechCrunch, 4/29/15
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