Microsoft is working on new product that uses new technology to do things that have never been done before. The product, HoloLens, is an augmented reality device that I first got to experience back in January.
Since that time, Microsoft has been able to produce production-like devices and they brought them to Build 2015.
The demos that I got to experience were different than what was shown in January. The session, which lasted roughly two hours was filled with learning coding basics about how to build HoloLens apps in Unity and then augment them using HoloLens in the real world; the demo was called ‘Origami’.
The biggest difference from the January event to the experience at Build 2015 is that I was wearing a pre-production prototype, not the backpack style device from the January event. HoloLens is made of plastic, there is a battery indicator on the back and it connects to the computer using a micro USB cord. The red tabs you see on the device are speakers that work exceptionally well at providing special audio when interacting with holograms, but also allow you to hear the outside world too.
The holograms that I was interacting with were quite simple, a notepad acting as a base with two paper airplanes on top of it placed at various angles and floating above the planes were two different types of balls.
The effect is really impressive, when it is in your field of view, I could take my Origami holograms and place them on other objects in the room and it would look like the object was on physically there. Easily my favorite demo was that you could blow a hole into the floor and then look into the virtual world below; I could then drop balls into the hole in the ground and watch them interact with underworld.