back to article PICTURE-TASTIC: Microsoft woos devs to HoloLens virtuo-goggs

Microsoft is serious about HoloLens, and devoted some stage time during Wednesday morning's keynote at the Build conference in San Francisco to explain how its futuristic headset will be more than just a fancy toy. Game developers are reportedly already exploring the possibilities inherent in a headset that can superimpose …

  1. JassMan

    battery pack around your neck?

    So, was it a brick a la mobile phone from the 80s or was it a millstone.

    Then again, even though they must have reduced its power consumption a bit to allow for an internal battery, it still looks rather clunky compared to googles glass

    1. Thorne

      Re: battery pack around your neck?

      You can't compare it to Google Glass. Glass is just a tiny screen in the corner of one eye as where hololens overlays everything you see.

      It's like comparing a LCD screen to data projector.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: battery pack around your neck?

      "Can YOU think of a reason to strap one of these to your face?"

      Holographic Porn. And maybe gaming.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: battery pack around your neck?

        "Holographic Porn."

        Cool. Your girlfriend / inflatable friend can become the girl of your dreams...

      2. cambsukguy

        Re: battery pack around your neck?

        Porn and gaming, hardly popular, waste of time designing it then, no customers for that.

  2. Graham Marsden

    "If he said "follow me" out loud...

    "...he could walk around the room and the TV would float along with him at the same distance."

    And then he tripped over the coffee table.

    1. Little Poppet

      so negative, wow!

      Except this is not Oculus or Morpheus, where he would trip over the table and more than likely walk into a wall...

    2. cambsukguy

      Re: "If he said "follow me" out loud...

      How hard is it to read the article and realise that the virtual world is overlaid on the real one? You can even surmise it from the photos if you look closely.

      A distraction, for sure - but not blindness.

      Do not use while driving - except in driving mode presumably, could be v.useful for directions etc. as long as facetwat crap was suppressed.

  3. john devoy

    Well that tagline says it all, MS could release the cure to cancer and tech sites like this would berate it in preference of Apple releasing iTurd...a turd in a can.

  4. kend1
    Big Brother

    And the flip side?

    This presents the 'good' side of the tool. Where are the dozens of irritating adverts that float with you from room to room and talk to you? "I noticed your carpet needs cleaning. Would you like to schedule an appointment with Fly-By-Nite? Also your dog needs grooming...."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And the flip side?

      I suppose there will be a Google Now app for it before too long, yes.

    2. Thorne

      Re: And the flip side?

      Oh my god! It's full of ads.......

  5. Mage Silver badge

    Oh Please! This is worse than 3D TV

    It's Stereoscopic overlays. It's not really 3D and not remotely ANYTHING to do with Holograms.

    Real Holograms and actual 3D work with one eye and don't cause eye strain. This is an illusion (2D Stereoscopic), so for 15% or more it doesn't work. For most people there is the focusing distance conflict between real distances and the Stereo image which is in a single plane, a single distance. The 3D illusion caused by stereoscopic offsets thus cause eye strain as the eye fruitlessly focus to further or nearer but image is really at a single distance.

    1. Radelix

      Re: Oh Please! This is worse than 3D TV

      you must be real fun at parties. At least MS is trying something.

      1. Richard Plinston

        Re: Oh Please! This is worse than 3D TV

        > At least MS is trying something.

        Putting stereoscopic projections onto goggles (not googles) into real world space has been done since a quarter of a century ago. It happened that it required hugely expensive computers to drive it back then, plus cables to the viewer.

        I recall reading about heart valve research watching computer generated flow while walking around the 3d image.

        Hololens is just a further development of stuff that has been around for ages.

        The only claim to holograms is that these are used in creating the lens, what is seen have nothing to do with holograms.

        1. cambsukguy

          Re: Oh Please! This is worse than 3D TV

          And your point?

          That MS didn't invent the concept, they are just making a modern version available within a standard OS with an API for regular developers to integrate using standard tools for a small investment?

          Yah boo sucks to them then, I want whomever did the original demonstration system a quarter of a century ago (and let it die) to pick it up and complete it as a bespoke system costing tens of thousands plus hundreds of millions in development so that I will only be able to use it at science fairs.

          What is all this bullshit on here from supposed intelligent people constantly dissing ideas and development of possibly useful things?

          It is one thing to highlight issues like fingerprint readers being a bad idea on a phone (perhaps) to saying "This isn't real 3D because it isn't physically projecting light into mid-air to make your stereo vision convert it into a purported object".

          MS haven't said it is the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything (only Apple have that, iOS 42 presumably), just that a new tool, easy to develop for, is being developed for possible applications where it might be useful.

    2. streaky

      Re: Oh Please! This is worse than 3D TV

      not really 3D

      Remind me how you perceive 3d objects in 4d space with your 2d vision again. Oh, that. What IS 3d? How do you define real, as Morpheus would say. It looks 3d, the rest is bullshit and people trying to look smarter than they actually are.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: It looks 3d, the rest is bullshit

        No. Stereoscopic 3d only gives an illusion of depth because you can't judge distance properly. Focal length doesn't change. You can tell that things are in front of or behind other things, but not how far.

        3D imaging that does allow you to focus at depth is in development. If that succeeds it will be better than plain stereoscopic 3d.

        (Not a comment on this tech in particular!)

  6. Mister F

    I was a bit sceptical when first rolled out, but today's demo was pretty impressive. MS must have spent a lot preparing for this - more than the iOS and Android apps on Windows which both look buggy and unrehearsed.

    I'm on the wait list for a hands on demo - whatever slots were available were filled within a minute.

  7. Little Poppet

    People are so butt hurt here, that Google didn't come up with this technology, so they have to default to denigrating something that has true potential...

    1. Thorne

      Actually Google have been funding Magic Leap

    2. BinkyTheHorse

      Also, there are AR goggles running on Android, El Reg mentioned one brand in an article around two years ago.

      It's great that Microsoft is putting money behind AR, but I think people are mostly pissed off that MS is trying to sell it as if they invented Augmented Reality. A monopolist in the desktop OS arena making such boasts is bound to resonate poorly with the technically inclined portion of the populace.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A little Scary?

    My train ride to the office is crappy enough already. Imagine sitting opposite someone wearing one of these while grinning at you...

    Seriously cool kit though. Never mind talking on your phone while going to the toilet, that's so last generation.

    1. Thorne

      Re: A little Scary?

      Imagine the porn potential.........

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A little Scary?

      Just another thought...if I did wear this to the toilet, I could overlay the cubicle with a mockup of my bosses office and crap on his desk :-)

      1. TheFinn

        Re: A little Scary? know that dream you have? where you dream you're standing at the toilet and hilarity ensues? this thing is a hackers wet dream. almost literally.

    3. TheFinn

      Re: A little Scary?

      ...but if you wear a pair, too, you can make the person opposite look like yer grandad!

  9. JLV

    immersive dev environments?

    maybe it's just because I was raised on Neuromancer's consensual hallucination memes, but...

    what about a system that allowed you to see & interact with multiple command lines, editors, sql prompts and browsers? kinda like a multi-monitor setup on steroids, with just glances left or right switching viewpoints? saw a bit of that for an Oculus demo with someone typing javascript that immediately got rendered in d3 or some other graphical representation.

    I don't use IDEs much because I find each subject gets too little screenspace. and I also prefer to interact with specialized tools rather than a do-all IDE. iBut people who use IDEs also have the same challenge - maximizing awareness of multiple views into different system aspects.

    Couldn't a properly implemented immersive system allow much better multi-viewpoint workflow, whether based on multiple programs or an enhanced super-IDE metaphor? or just unix desktops?

    wouldn't that be the cat's pajamas? if it didn't cause undue eye strain.

    heck, I'd settle for a browser that used this instead of tabs.

    yeah, yeah, I know we'll be getting yet another 50000 photo-sharing and Candy Crush apps before anything like that comes our way, but we can only dream, no?

    1. BinkyTheHorse

      Re: immersive dev environments?

      You don't need AR for that 'though. Plain VR is sufficient.

      I would also very much want something like this, but I think the elephant in room is the resolution of the displays used by current-gen equipment. It looks like it is simply too poor to be able to present multiple text-heavy screens.

      Well, here's one for the tech to progress quickly.

  10. Allan George Dyer

    "B15's sensors aren't good at detecting obstacles, but they don't have to be. My HoloLens can communicate that information."

    So it's a robot that can avoid obstacles while you are watching it?

  11. Tim Fischer

    iThink this rox

    All technologies have their issues, especially as it comes to this generations version of Holograms, etc.

    Google Glass is quite limited and doesn't compare. VR helmets are cool, but try walking around your home with that on your face, unable to see "through" it.

    However, if my only TV was via the HoloLens, then no one else visiting me would see anything - ever.

    This HoloLens is the best tech I've seen that at least may (based on developers triumphs), be best-of-breed whereby future versions have no limitations.

    It is version 1.0, but augmented reality is much better than virtual reality IMO - mostly because I can still see the world around me while viewing my virtual world overlaid on it.

  12. RISC OS


    ...this device seems to require you to live the life of a silicon valley single... no kids leaving toys everywhere, a huge house with a room whose only purpose is for gaming.

    Come to the UK MS, go to a standard council house and show me it working there.

    1. Mister F

      Re: Hmm...

      Put on Hololens, look out window, see sun and perfect blue sky even though it is after midnight in England. Wear it outside and the gang of kids rushing at you with knives appear as the models of Victoria's Secret racing to deliver you a beer. You die happy. Maybe this thing has potential?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm...

      go to a standard council house and show me it working there.

      As someone whom works in a VERY affluent area of cheshire, let me tell you some of the mansions i deal with are in a far worse state internally than a lot of "council" houses.

  13. Snow Hill Island
    Thumb Up

    So the "B" in B15 stands for...

    Blugblatter Beast. Put a towel over your head so that you can't see it, and then it can't see you. Had to use a thumb, because the icon for the sub-ether sens-o-matic is mysteriously missing.

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