So far Microsoft has been mostly tell and minimal show about its augmented reality HoloLens headset. Not any more. Today the tech giant finally revealed an extended glimpse into what it’s like to experience the world through its holographic-virtual reality hybrid wearable.
Well, sort of, and it looks pretty awesome. That is if you don’t mind swallowing a load of gorgeous, computer graphics-enhanced “bullshot,” which the new HoloLens teaser video the company released yesterday is filled with.
Basically, it’s an augmented take on Microsoft’s take on augmented reality. Wrap your mind around that.
The two-and-a-half-minute highly produced promo, filmed at Microsoft partner Case Western Reserve University, features doctors and medical students exploring excellent visual effects simulations of human anatomy holograms. All of the users shown are, of course, wearing the highly anticipated innovative “mixed reality” face computer, which Microsoft first unveiled last January.
In the video, the HoloLens users manipulate floating holographic “cadavers,” obviously spun by seriously talented computer graphics artists, in some really interesting ways. They peel away detailed chunks of muscle with waves of their hands and pinch their fingers in mid-air to move, isolate and examine specific bones, aortic valves and the like.
Check it out. The augmented fun starts at the 0:41 mark.
The idea is to use the HoloLens to make it easier, faster and more efficient for future doctors to better understand the ins and outs of the human body -- without using real human bodies. For obvious reasons, fake holographic ones are easier to manipulate on the fly, anywhere, in and out of the lab or classroom.
Medical field academics aren’t the only demographic Microsoft is marketing the HoloLens as a game-changing teaching tool to. The Redmond, Wash.-based corporate colossus, which earlier this week announced another round of imminent mass job cuts, is also positioning the wearable as a simulation solution for the space industry. Last April, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory heralded its use of the translucent computerized goggles to simulate what it's like to walks on Mars. Sign us up.
Just last month, at the E3 video-game conference, Microsoft pulled off an eye-popping demo that showed how awesome it could be to play Minecraft in 3-D, with a fancy HoloLens snug on your mug.
Promising peeks into a hologram-infused future seen through the lens of Microsoft’s mixed reality magic are cool and all, but what we really want to know is when and where consumer versions of the tech will be available for purchase and for how much. And will your average Joe be able to afford it...or even want one in the first place?