I used to rush to get my homework done so I could grab a chance at playing half an hour of video games. I believe the computer was called a Gorilla Banana, and it was a dinosaur from the days before mice—the days of DOS, 3×5 floppy disks, keyboards build into monitors, and screens that only displayed the color green.
Rushing with excitement into a small closet off the living room designated to house what was then considered an unnecessary luxury, I would pull out a brown 70s-style case filled with upward-facing cassettes. I would usually select a farmer game, where you would attempt to sow your crops while avoiding hungry critters in a methodically reverse Pac-Man manner. The graphics made Centipede look truly advanced.
It was so basic in its construction, but we were entirely entranced by its execution.
Those rushes came sporadically over the years. The afternoon school bus saw me run down our quarter-mile gravel driveway in the country (cows wondering why the hurry) to get to that same room the day my brother got the original NES, when playing Super Mario Brothers from the convenience of your own home was a truly awesome experience.
That same room watched us “ooh” and “aah” at the revolutionary advent of the mouse, and the ease of execution it brought with it. In that room, I was captivated by the compact cartridges of the Nintendo 64, albeit a bit bothered when I had to blow on them to make them work.
That same, small room, not two phone booths wide, with its squeaky wooden doors that opened from the center, witnessed more technological advancement than most people can casually recall (without the assistance of a roaring fireplace, an abundance of beers, and a mass of minds in their mid-30s or more). I consider myself relatively old now, in comparison to that little guy I once was.
I sit here under the covers on my bed, propped up with three pillows while typing away on my decked-out Alienware laptop. My V-Moda headphones are on to muffle the squirmy squeaks as my own newborn wrestles in her sleep at my side. iPhone 6+ plugged in, I smile with satisfaction at my own advances, but am still in astonishment at the advances common technology has made alongside me.
I’m not surprised, though. Even that little guy from my past knew that one day there would be systems that could put us into a whole new world, make us think we were truly there. We would walk around in a completely virtual environment, leaving life behind and escaping into exciting, exotic worlds of our own design. I imagined strapping on a headset, hooking myself up to medical-style sensors, flipping a switch on my visor, and being free.
That day is upon us. Technology has blazed by us, placing upon our heads the computerized crowns of which I once dreamed, that will change our world forever.
Augmented Reality and Holograms
Those “crowns” would be, in today’s terms, classified as Virtual Reality, or VR systems. They are rather advanced for being in their relative infancies, and are springing to life in offerings such as the Oculus Rift and Sony’s Project Morpheus.
But what if you want something that works with you in your own world, rather than whisking you away to a whole new one? What if you want something more “Minority Report” than “Matrix”—some useful technology that aids you in your daily endeavors, rather than simply providing another diversion?
What you’re looking for here is something to augment your life with easy access to anything you might ever need—an actual augmented reality in which the informative powers of the Internet are infinitely expanded into a conveniently compact crown known as the Microsoft HoloLens.
How Augmented Reality Works
In “Minority Report,” we see Tom Cruise whipping through wads of data by waving his hands, sending screens soaring this way and that. Augmented Reality, or AR devices, similarly overlay computer-generated content onto the real world and the physical, which can then be accessed or manipulated by the user as they see fit.
While they say even sensations for your skin and sense of smell can (and probably will) be added in future variations, keep in mind that this technology is not in itself new. Take a fighter pilot’s helmet, for example, painting targeting trackers and data directly into his or her field of vision—or even Google’s recent civilian effort with Glass.
While not quite yet in the windshield of your car providing you with points of interest, the augmented reality housed in the HoloLens uses real world images to determine your location, providing you with the information you require, using holograms as its medium.
What Exactly Are Holograms?
Once again, holograms in themselves are nothing new. From prizes in cereal boxes to driver’s licenses and credit cards (heck, even Harry Potter found one of Dumbledore on his train ride to Hogwarts), holograms have been hiding in plain sight in our society for some time. What we’re talking about here, however, is something a bit deeper.
Though the actual process for creating a hologram is perhaps too technical and not of much interest to the average reader, the holograms we’re working with here are basically composed of layer upon layer of light. Once in your HoloLens, they spring to life in the form of computer-generated 3D images that can be placed, pinned, or moved in your world. Though fake, these images appear very real to us, up for interaction and manipulation similar to that of their physical counterparts.
Keep in mind these do not have to be simply static images. If you’ve always wanted the Statue of David in your living room, go ahead and put one there; it will seem so real you’ll be walking around nothing to the amusement of others (but it will be much easier to move when you redecorate the room).
How about a TV in that blank space on the wall? Will you be picking something off primetime to watch, or needing your Netflix fix? Maybe you need to Skype with your dad, to ask him for assistance with your car once again? He can appear right in front of you, see what you see, and guide you every step of the way.
All of these things, and much, much more, are possible with the holographic technologies contained inside the HoloLens.
How does this Technology Benefit People?
Okay, so holograms can pop up in front of you. You can move them around; you can do stuff with them. If you’re like me, sharing my anticipation that this upgrade to my lifestyle is going to cost me an arm and a leg (though we don’t know yet), you could be wondering if it’s better to simply stay with the system you currently have.
I’ve already invested all my money in my current computer systems, have them set up the way I want them, am comfortable using them, and don’t find it much of an inconvenience to sit down at a desk or whip out my tablet or phone when I need to get something done. Am I right in saying we might be of similar minds when you consider what you have in place for you or your business?
Whenever a new system is presented to us, or the latest “game changer” becomes available, there are usually two types of people that emerge. Some rush out to get it, while others wait to see what will happen, anticipating bugs and breakdowns while assessing functionality and expecting fixes.
Regardless of what type of industry you’re currently in, the implications of this type of technology are destined to alter the course of who we are and how we do business.
Holographic computing has the capability, among others, to deliver real-time, relevant information in a form that’s both hands-free and voice activated. The effects this type of technology will have on us will emerge in our home, travel, employment, and personal life.
The usefulness of holographic computing around the home is also potentially limitless. I’ve been waiting for three weeks for an inspector to come to my home to assess weather damage from an unbearably harsh winter. I wish I could strap on my HoloLens, take it around the house, point out points of weakness, and get this thing taken care of on my time. I’ve also been fairly stressed out lately; I could go for a harpist in the corner, a ceiling that changes from day to night, and a sliding glass door that shows the view from the beach in the Maldives rather than snow melting into a muddy mush.
I’ve been meaning to get either a pool table or a full-sized arcade machine for my living room; why not get both? Hand gestures are handy when it comes to moving these monsters, and I could simply pick up another set to share this experience with others. Anniversary dinner coming up? Mine is. Should I bring up a recipe in my reticle, watch a cooking show or video, or contact my chef friend for a little advice on how to spice things up? My hands are free, regardless.
With holographic technology, you won’t find yourself alone if you’re on the road again. If your car doesn’t have the aforementioned AR windshield (as I’d be willing to wager it doesn’t), you can drive unimpeded while wearing your HoloLens (depending on how state laws work things out). You’ll know in advance where the next McDonald’s is, how much longer it’ll take to get to the hotel, or just where to find “The World’s Largest Ball of String.”
Perhaps you’re on the plane again? Place flashing arrows on the airport floor, directing you to your gate through the crowds of commuters. Plane delayed? Alter the atmosphere into something more relaxing, like a rainforest. You could overlay a game into your gate, but I’d advise against first person shooters (we don’t want you getting detained for yelling “Die! Die! Die!” while making motions like you’re blowing people away).
Arrived at your hotel room? Redecorate the way you want with holographic insertions, or literally set up your office if you’re off for work. Search local sights before you venture out, and you’ll be having trips you’re sure to remember!
How much impact would holographic computing have on your job? Walk yourself through your day, while we take a stroll through the days of others.
A mechanic could create a life-size, holographic replica of how the damaged car he is working on is supposed to be, as if it were right off the factory floor. Body differences are easy to detect, but if he’s working on something under the hood, he could just peel back layers to determine any deviations from the norm.
If he needs some advice from a senior mechanic who’s out today, he could just dial him up and have him displayed in front of him, while his superior works out the diagnosis. It may turn out he needs a part, so instead of placing an order and waiting for weeks, he can bring up the specs, image something, or sculpt his supplies and print them out on a 3D printer.
Perhaps something a bit more professional, like a pediatrician. With holographic examples manifested in midair, signs, symptoms, and sicknesses can all be easily cross-referenced to provide care quicker, and to prescribe the right medicines for the right conditions. She can send the prescription directly to the pharmacy by voice, so it’ll be ready for you to pick up on your way home.
Let’s not bother with a nurse or receptionist; let’s just schedule your next appointment right now, flipping through a floating schedule to find a time that fits for you (and preset a reminder so you won’t forget). It’s faster for everyone involved, it’s easier, and, quite frankly, it’s just more fun!
Therein lies another benefit to the HoloLens: it simply is more fun! One’s perception of reality is in fact the reality they interpret and experience. When people actually have fun at work, instead of perceiving it as “work,” augmented reality begins to alter the actual reality of everyday life.
Across industries, the time and money it takes to get jobs done will be reduced through the elimination of unnecessary processes. This will either shorten the work day (hopefully), or free us up to accomplish more in the same amount of time, making us more productive, both as businesses and as individuals. Regardless of how the bosses allocate our hours, we will find the tasks become easier, or more easily accomplished.
The element of enjoyment alongside the ease of accomplishment and the reduction in time will have a significant impact on work-related stress (and thus many medical and leave-related issues), and not only on the individual. Workforces will see happier, more productive teams, composed of individuals who have a newfound sense of enjoyment both in their personal and professional lives.
What we know about HoloLens so far
Although we can’t go out and strap one on quite yet, I’m sure you’re starting to get the picture HoloLens is projecting for our future. With Microsoft claiming boldly that “the era of holographic computing is here,” many believe that Microsoft is simply painting a pretty picture to get purses to open for its latest gimmick, which will be in-and-out like the Google Glass.
What we have here, however, is not a simple toy to be flaunted for fun in front of your friends. We have been presented with an extremely complex tool, with such an unfathomable amount of potential applications that even the minds at Microsoft may not truly know the actual reach of the technological masterpiece they have hiding in their basement.
So let’s go downstairs and try to dig up a few details on what exactly the HoloLens entails, what it can do, and what we should be doing on the day of its fast-approaching release.
Video – Microsoft HoloLens: Transform your world with holograms
What is HoloLens?
Taking into account everything we’ve gone over so far, we can begin to understand the claims that this new holographic headset from Microsoft is destined to revolutionize our world—how we live, work, and play. If it lives up to the hype so far, I might agree that this will be a game-changer.
But what exactly is the HoloLens? Is it like “The Box” Jim Carrey riddled us with in “Batman Forever,” shooting beams of light from the boob tube into our brains? Is it some super-cool computerized monocle you can lift to your eye every time you want to snootily inspect the technological dinosaurs around you? Better yet, why not strap on a big boy for that creepy, beefy “Borg” look?
No, it’s nothing like that. As much as we’d like to let our minds run wild on wishes like these, we have to have something practical, which Microsoft more than understood when creating this device. Thankfully, practical isn’t accompanied by prude in this situation.
Picture yourself a set of large sunglasses, almost like a set of ski or snowboarding goggles without the fat framing, with some nicely shaded, transparent lenses.
At the back of your head sits an inch or two high black matte temples, which cleverly conceal an adjustable sizing mechanism to ensure a proper fit. Look through another small set of lenses for layering (the “HoloLenses,” perhaps?), and slip them on slightly between bifocals and headband. Now you’ve got the HoloLens, complete with a covert array of cameras and sensors built into the brow.
They are certainly not unattractive by any means, and are easily more functional than their AR/VR relatives. While you’ll be looking more like a stylish Geordi La Forge sporting some new shades, VR offerings such as the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus are quite literally all up in your face, with massive, bulky black headgear that makes you look like you’re about to fall forward.
The HoloLens has enough substance, however, that it doesn’t look like it will shatter like the Google Glass. What you’re looking at with HoloLens is a sturdy piece seemingly fit for the range of environments it was meant to be in. Undoubtedly, with no unreasonable precautions taken, it will hold up well on the journey from the factory, to the meeting hall, and safely back home.
How will HoloLens Work?
Primarily purposed to insert interactive holograms into your immediate surroundings, HoloLens parts from its AR partners by allowing you to become truly immersed in an augmented reality experience, not simply view it in a hyped-up HUD.
So how does it do this, and how does it all work?
The holograms overlaid onto your world are said to be so realistic, you’ll literally be questioning yourself as to their existence. It’s actually designed to trip you out! Take it from Alex Kipman, Chief Inventor and creator of the Kinect (and one who could undoubtedly corkscrew your mind with casual conversation): “Project HoloLens’ key achievement – realistic holograms – works by tricking your brain into seeing light as matter. You essentially hallucinate the world, or you see what your mind wants you to see.”
And that’s all it is, really. It’s light layered at different depths that serves to create dynamic, Hi-Def images for you to interact with.
You’re not really tripping out, but your friends might think you are as you gesture to ethereal images only you can see, or avoid objects in a room invisible to others. Interacting with computerized constructs utilizing a variety of control techniques will not only feel natural, but extremely responsive.
A simple “glance” allows you to isolate something in your field of vision, while you manipulate it with one of the more common movements, the “air tap.” While it is believed you can still supplement your experience clicking on an old comfort, the mouse, simply raising and lowering an index finger at an object can cause it to come to life. Voice-activated commands vary your experience.
These techniques are tantamount to taking the most from your Microsoft experience, since we are dealing with AR here, not VR. Virtual reality creates a world for you, placing you within it to wander and wonder at the marvels therein. With HoloLens, you’ll be creating your own world, augmenting reality with computer programs from the casual to the complex. When processed by the terabyte in real-time, such programs serve up succulent supplements to your everyday doings.
VR puts a screen on your face, but with AR, you can put anything anyplace, creating a powerful, purposeful, personal world that will keep you coming back to it. Why would we want to live in reality when we could each design our ideal environments, and invest our time there instead?
What are People Saying about HoloLens?
We’ll take a walk through some of Microsoft’s teasers in the copy to come, but some have already sampled the experience of a lifetime. Has it lived up to the hype?
Those who’ve handled the holographic headset have only good things to say regarding the power and potential of Microsoft’s magical device. The ocular effects are of obvious importance, but if interaction is unnatural or intrusive, they tend to lose their luster. TechRadar relays to have no fear here, as the motion and manipulation “feels natural and fun.”
Although CNET, PCMag, and Engadget are in agreement that the prototype headgear (not the fine, finished product visible on various sites) is uncomfortable, a few adjectives have them all in agreement: “world-warping,” “undeniably cool,” and just plain “awesome.” “It might sound gimmicky, but the applications here are truly impressive,” says The Verge, “It’s wildly impressive that these objects really do feel like they’re out there in your living room, but it’s equally depressing to know that you can’t treat them like real objects.”
It’s depressing for the simple fact that you want them to be real. The world you’re creating here is so potentially wonderful that it will leave you wishing for it to replace your reality. Every moment you spend away from it will be filled with anxiety until you can reenter.
I shudder at the fact that Microsoft may be fabricating generations of giddy adults, watching their work clocks like squirmy schoolchildren lusting for summer break. But I also believe the real world applications we’re about to examine will endear this invention to the technological futures of everyone with electricity, positioning itself as possibly one of the most important innovations since the Internet itself—I already want one.
HoloLens and Windows 10
Windows 7, Windows 8—speed ahead to Windows 10, the engine that makes this car go! While you can use Windows 10 on your home computer as usual, you can’t use the HoloLens without it, and you’ll also find it important in fully interacting with someone from home to headgear.
How will HoloLens work with Windows 10?
You can expect to see all the offerings of upgrades past in Windows 10, but if we’re skipping Windows 9, we’d better be getting a little sugar on top. Come to find out, Windows 10 is relatively sweet!
It’s new! It’s easier to use! Blah, blah, blah… But what you won’t find that “blah” is some of the inclusions in this new OS. You’re going to have Cortana (a.k.a. “Siri” for you separatists) to converse with, but she won’t be consoling you when you’re using Project Spartan. This new web browser for 10 lets you write right on your screen, circling important info while saving sites for future use offline. Xbox on Windows! Who’s not excited about that?
What’s more, this new system is supposed to be applicable to most of CPUs we encounter throughout our daily commutes. From airplanes to ATMs, what won’t be running Windows 10?
Most importantly, Windows 10 is the first OS to support holographic computing. Absolutely necessary for compiling voice, motions, gaze, and all the goodies wrapped up in the HoloLens package, you’ll also need this if you’ll be getting in touch with others who have the headset. Have no fear; some things in life are really free! If you’re running 7 or 8.1, you can upgrade at no cost within the first year, which might be something worth looking into for those of us who are looking ahead.
Simplified for the technologically timid, Windows is now composed of apps which apply universally across platforms. Accordingly, all universal apps are able to function as holograms, allowing us to rip our favorite functions from the computer and overlay them into our own augmented realities, or those of others.
HoloLens and Gaming
For those who’ve handled the prototype headset, they’ve probably experienced HoloBuilder, Microsoft’s moniker for Minecraft. Set up your creations anywhere and everywhere, and enjoy some satisfactory effects, such as blowing up your blocks to create a cavern, with bats summarily bursting forth. Here we have some digital building blocks; we can stack them on the sofa without them falling over when somebody sits on it, we can hang them on the wall or have them manifest with moving elements.
There is something to appreciate simply in the novelty here, but the HoloLens needs to grow, as does its lacking gaming library. I’m confident it won’t be long until we find Master Chief in our master bedrooms, or are making havoc with Ryse of Rome or Red Dead Redemption, since Microsoft can’t afford to dawdle here. With Project Morpheus and the Oculus Rift catching our VR eyes, Microsoft is undoubtedly cooking something up to get itself a slice of a multi-billion dollar gaming pie.
Video – HoloLens Minecraft Demo
Skype and HoloLens
Of course, when I was in Japan for a decade, my parents thought of Skype as a novelty that couldn’t replace a good old-fashioned phone call. Now that they’re only a car ride away, “Skype Saturdays” start at 6am like clockwork! From grandma taking a look at the new baby to the business of cutting costs through video conferencing, we are all familiar by now with the most common uses of this tool called Skype.
As impactful as the first installment of this Skype series was, the huge impacts holographic technologies will bring to bear on this social software are certain to reshape our world as we know it.
Some basic examples of how holographic computing will make alterations in this area have been brewing in Microsoft’s basement. Those who have strapped on a HoloLens have been able to enter a bare-bones room, wherein they utilize Skype to call a Microsoft assistant to help them put together a light switch to illuminate their world. Another neat example is depicted in picture after picture associated with this advancement, as someone helps someone else make some simple repairs to a sink in her home.
The processes shared between these scenarios really demonstrate the future realities that Skype might shape with the HoloLens. A Skype call is now made by air tapping a photo from your Skype phonebook, so you’re just really reaching out and touching someone! Keep them pinned to one place in space and time, or leave them loose so they can float with you as you move around the room—it’s up to you.
Once they’re on (if they’re running Windows 10), they will not only see what you are seeing (not see you, a major difference), but they will be able to assist you by simply drawing on their screen, which actually appears in the air in front of you!
Skype and the HoloLens are not only destined to literally reshape our interactions with each other, but are also poised to present a multitude of new business opportunities for the entrepreneurial.
What is HoloStudio?
What we have with HoloStudio is basically a 3D Paint, Photoshop, or AutoCAD-type program that allows you to extract and alter the items and images you’ve created in holographic form.
Though many weren’t allowed hands-on access to this particular piece of software (though it is said to have a very small learning curve), those who were did find it a marvelous addition to the interesting array of holographic HoloLens hits.
What people and press could view was another Microsoft employee utilizing the software to build and manipulate objects in midair, rotating and reinventing them as he sought fit. While some of the examples of objects mentioned were a koala bear and a spaceship, it was quite obvious for most that the creative possibilities presented in HoloStudio were unlimited.
Of course, one of the great things here is deciding what to do when you’re done with your new design. Send it as a file, or share it if you wish—or perhaps you’re in more immediate need of your new novelty. If that’s the case, simply send it over to your 3D printer, and breathe real life into your augmented reality.
When used in combination, this Studio/Printer tag team may be one of the most formidable features of the HoloLens, as people will now be given the power to basically bring their ideas to literal life. Whether at home or about on business, keep an eye on this combo—it’s one to watch.
The Possibilities with HoloLens
Aside from the undoubtedly infinite array of future apps, from the beginning we’ll only be running HoloLens with a handful of helpful programs. The possibilities presented in these programs, however, are already predicting powerful changes ahead in nearly every aspect of our everyday existence.
HoloLens and Science
Before considering the benefits HoloLens technology might have here, let’s take into account one more masterpiece contained within: OnSight.
Microsoft uses Mars as an example to demonstrate some of the future applications of OnSight, piquing our curiosity with the rover of the same name. In collaboration with NASA, this program has been developed to immerse us in 3D mapping technology, overlaid into our offices, which will allow us to explore distant environments without dashing off ourselves.
Guests got to step out onto the red planet, guiding the rover and its instruments in real time (aside from the delays posed by the distance of space), while holding calls with NASA engineers who could point out places of interest by placing markers in their field of vision.
The reality augmented here is not to be underestimated, either in its clarity or the benefits it can bestow.
With a recreation this real, people quite simply felt as if they were there, and the variances in the terrain called out details not displayed in 2D pictures relayed from the rover. When exploring potentially dangerous environments on this planet or the next, we can explore them safely.
We could use a drone to scout out a volcano, where gasses and heat might not be too hospitable, or check out cracking ice in environments too frigid to welcome us. Similarly we could explore cavernous depths of caves we can’t reach, or scout out the sea floor’s facets and fissures, taking real samples all the while. All of this imagery can be beamed back to us, allowing us to go for walks in far-away lands, without leaving our desk.
Understanding unknown elements is the very vehicle in which science progresses; HoloLens opens the door for us, and lets us hop in. Explorative possibilities aside, apply OnSight to archaeology, and guide vehicles around hot deserts to raid with radar for ancient sites. Find something? Call your colleague back home to check it out, and if he’s still not sure, image and send it to him, where he can print up an exact replica of that find or fossil to examine for himself.
The medical field reaps benefits here, as replacement parts or prosthetics can be sculpted and sized in HoloSuite, and sent to the printer either in your hospital, or the one across the world awaiting the piece for their patient. Military science is magnified as well, allowing international collaboration and confirmation on weapon construction before investing millions crafting multiple prototypes (along with a myriad of other military uses).
The educational aspects? Where do you want to begin? Think of how classes can be taught, information relayed, and ideas exchanged from extraordinary distances.
When you add all of these elements together, you have less than you had to start with, which means you have more. Fewer people are traveling back and forth to archaeological sites, at less expense. Patients get urgent care faster than ever before, not having to wait for crucial components to arrive in the mail. While it is unlikely we will reduce our military spending, we will simply find new investments for the monies we save, allowing technology here to progress at a much more rapid rate.
Saving money while buying time, rapid progressions in technology, protecting people from potential dangers and educating others like never before—these are just some of the benefits the HoloLens bestows on the sciences.
HoloLens and Business
Similar benefits stemming from those seen in the sciences are bound to boost profits when applied to business application. It may be possible that the future sees as many businesses incorporating the HoloLens in some fashion as they do the Internet itself.
A few quick examples can illustrate enhancements to the way business is done internationally. This technology is easily applied to industrial and manufacturing arenas, where a workforce of few skilled engineers can be dispatched anywhere in the world via Skype to assist those onsite with repairs or the creation of the parts necessary to print and patch things up. Not only will HoloLens have everybody on the same page—they’ll be speaking the same language, as specialized interpreters can be beamed directly into international business meetings from remote locations, literally projecting their presence into the room (significant for the applications of sign language as well).
Virtual repairmen may become a visible part of our futures, as they will be able to assess causes and provide parts, education or instruction all from a single point of operation. This will decrease money spent on sending people out and other operating expenses, while enhancing profits through speedy service and increased volume.
An issue raised here is that of advertising. The HoloLens will undoubtedly have an effect on the advertising industry, but will the advertising industry in turn infect the way in which we use the HoloLens? Will holographic popups be pushing products on us when we’re trying to get down to business? Will companies have the opportunity to purchase information regarding when, where, why, and how we use our HoloLenses to target us with marketing tailored to tempt us?
I wouldn’t put it past anybody to pass up such a potentially profitable opportunity, but if it intrudes on our personal and private experiences with the HoloLens (as are some of its most endearing aspects), not to mention interrupts us during our economic endeavors, business may have overstepped its bounds.
How HoloLens can make Everyday Tasks Easier
With the potential for HoloLens around the home as varied as each individual user, the diversity of the features within should prove complimentary to our own unique wants and needs.
Since I’m not sure what you’re up to, let’s walk through my day, and see how HoloLens could’ve applied. My wife could’ve used it while making breakfast, possibly beaming a cooking show into the kitchen as she manned her battle station. I hopped on a traditional computer to do my writing, but I don’t think the convenience of a HoloLens will be able compete here with the sheer speed of a comfortable keyboard, unless some really good dictation software is in the works.
I took a break to set up a smoker for summer. Here I could’ve Skyped in my handy dad while outside, setting up hands-free while being closely monitored for mistakes by a technically-skilled retiree.
My smoker isn’t gas powered, and maybe I’d like to get ideas on building this particular type of fire, so I could’ve searched YouTube for advice on the subject, moving between videos by voice, free to follow the instructions. When I was ready to prepare the meats with marinades, I’d also take advantage of the aid HoloLens could give, and come up with a winner my first time out.
Later in the day I went to my bedroom and watched a little Airforce One on the PSP under the covers. I did this because though I have a nice space on the wall to hang another 55 incher, the wall is too weak to support the weight. I’d surely get a lot of HoloLens’ help here, especially around bedtime. It’d be even better if I could beam the actors into the room, and have them battle it out in my own personal play. I’d really like a better view from my sliding glass doors, too, and the HoloLens could certainly substitute something in to suit my mood.
Then I went back to writing. I use earplugs to axe annoyances, but a harpist would be nice…let’s put her in Grecian garb and sit her in the corner, so she can pluck delicately while I plug away. Well, while we’re at it, I’ve always wanted one fanning me as well with one of those giant feathered wands, so let’s throw her in too!
I anticipate this thing really coming alive when I’m done for the day. What would I like to do? Could I set up a holographic replica of a full-sized arcade machine in my living room, and throw down some original Street Fighter? Maybe I’d like to find myself floating in a relaxing oasis, and alter my surroundings to suit me. I usually play some Summoner’s War; will my creatures come to life as cool little holograms, and battle it out before my eyes?
I have things that need fixing, and contractors to contact; finances must be manipulated, and the process goes on. But as new needs undoubtedly arise, and life throws its curveballs your way, you can connect with them more easily, knocking them out of the park while knocking them off your list.
Doing things hands-free will have us mindlessly multitasking, which may come very naturally for future generations. Leisure time will be loved like never before, and the abundance of options in this will surely be astounding. Will I get my daily duties done on time or early? Probably. Will they be more enjoyably accomplished? I think so. Will this invention actually improve my quality of life, while providing me with simple pleasures to subtly relieve its stresses? Will it do so for you? I believe it will.
The Future of Wearable Gadgets
That little guy from my past didn’t know for sure just when the technology would arrive that would set him free in his own virtual worlds, but he dreamed it was possible, he knew it would happen one day. That day is here.
The world is changing quickly, passing from the real into the surreal (in more ways than one), and while people never change, technology always progresses. At times I reflect on the virtual reality and augmented reality advances I’ve seen in my life, in comparison with those of other simple peasants from past generations. I’m proud to be here, and to see what I’ve seen.
HoloLens and possible Future Uses
The economy is not that great, and with a new baby, the extensive travels we enjoyed might be a thing of the past, but they don’t have to be. Let’s also aid the 70% of Americans who don’t have a passport, and get them out of the country. Let’s go to new places, placing them in our own homes, where we can explore them in distinct detail from our very dens (and even virtually shop there).
Safe safari rides through deepest darkest Africa (without all the painful prerequisite vaccinations) and pyramids without the possibility of kidnapping are also high on my list, but take it one step further. We could virtually time travel to (pre)historic events, immersing ourselves in the experiences and interacting with those who were there.
Want to sit in on the signing of the Declaration of Independence, or experience the thrill of the Battle of the Bulge? Soak up a lecture from Socrates, or venture through venerable prehistoric swamps, dodging dinosaurs all the while. If you’ve ever wished yourself part of the past, the future may just be your answer.
Let’s finish things off with some fun stuff. We could breathe new life into past pleasures, having a holographic Battleship board, an awesomely-augmented Axis & Allies, or perhaps put together a game of Wizard’s Chess! What if we could create virtual video games or adventures to access in our backyards? We could assign ourselves superpowers, like laser-beam eyes, arm ourselves with wrist rockets, and battle it out.
Virtual dating may very well spring into existence, allowing us out on the town (in safety) to try out a new locale, while trying someone new on for size (if they’re not fooling you with a physically-fit avatar, that is).
One simple request when the day is done, and I’m sure a lot of you are with me on this one—in-home holodeck!
Video – Halo 5: Guardians HoloLens Briefing
12 Smart Glasses and Headsets you might not know about
Some tidbits to titillate your future tastebuds…
*CastAR – AR – Thick-framed AR glasses that make you look like you’re getting ready to examine some fossils.
*Moverio BT-200 – AR – Watch 3D HD content projected by a wired device.
*Meta – AR – Spendy, unattractive specs specializing in 3D modelling.
*Vuzix M-100 – AR – Simple, smart-looking earpiece/monocle meant to assist in business and medical fields.
*Laster SeeThru – AR – Aids in travel and sports-related activities while making you look like a friendly “Borg.”
*Icis – AR – Connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth while keeping you as normal-looking as possible.
*ORA-S – AR – Hands-free, wearable AR with a tilt mode.
*GlassUP – AR – A basic monochromatic set to get your AR feet wet.
*Atheer One – AR – A decent looking set of goggle/glasses promoting manual, areal manipulation on an Android-based platform.
*K-Glass – AR – Robotic-looking AR bent on anticipating your desires.
*Oculus Rift – VR – Face formidable, unfathomable fictional worlds with this massive, aforementioned VR facemask.
*Project Morpheus – VR – Step into a frontrunner’s virtual world with a cool, full coverage mask and PlayStation Move controllers.
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