3D objects vs. holograms

We have already mentioned that HoloLens doesn’t create holograms by itself. The so-called holograms are actually 3D objects made entirely out of light. By using Microsoft’s special goggles, these virtual 3D objects are projected onto our field of vision.

In contrast, researcher Xuewu Xu and some of his colleagues  from Data Storage Institute in Singapore succeeded in developing a method to create “real” holograms.  Engadget’s Felix Knoke shared a German article about the topic here and attempts to get a demo video from Xuewu Xu and his colleagues. Basically, they explain their approach in the following way:

hologram“We propose a new approach to spatiotemporally multiplex sub-holograms and stream hologram data in parallel by using multiple spatial light modulators (SLMs) to increase the spatiotemporal resolution of holographic display system.

With the proposed approach, we have achieved a spatiotemporal resolution of 4.5 × 1010 pixel/s, as compared with 1.89 × 109 pixel/s of a single SLM. Each frame of computer-generated hologram video has a pixel count of 378 Mpixels and is divided into 288 sub-holograms, each of 1.31 Mpixels.

During the playback of holographic video, these sub-holograms are spatiotemporally multiplexed and streamed in parallel to form the integrated hologram within 16.67 ms, which enables full-color holographic video display with a 10-in. diagonal at a hologram data frame rate of 60 frames per second (fps).

New SLM devices with higher spatiotemporal resolution need to be developed in order to meet the data bandwidth requirement of about 1012–1014 pixel/s for future 3D holographic displays.”

via So gehen Hologramme richtig – Engadget Deutschland.

Nevertheless, HoloLens offers a great possibility to blend virtual objects into our physical reality. Even if HoloLens doesn’t create holograms by definition, Microsoft avoids negative connotations connected with AR and establishes best conditions for HoloLens to be accepted by potential customers.

Build – Microsoft’s premier developer conference

build2015

Microsoft’s annual developer conference Build will take place from April 29 to Mai 1, 2015 in The Moscone Center, San Francisco. Techcrunch reported that

Registration opened at 9am PT this morning and the event sold out in less than an hour.

via Update: Microsoft’s Build 2015 Developer Conference Sold Out In Less Than An Hour | TechCrunch.

Not really surprising as we are all interested in having more information about Microsoft’s new development tools and HoloLens.

But don’t throw in the towel if you didn’t get tickets for Build, Microsoft announced officially that it is possible to tune in to live session webcasts. Let’s get ready for Microsoft HoloLens at Build!

Currently the full agenda is not finalized yet, but according to Techcrunch we can expect insights into Windows 10 and other core technologies.

Judging from today’s announcement, the focus of the event will be squarely on Windows 10, which is expected to launch later this year. The Windows 10 Technical Preview is scheduled to expire on April 15, so chances are we will see the first release candidate at Build.

via Update: Microsoft’s Build 2015 Developer Conference Sold Out In Less Than An Hour | TechCrunch.

Watch also Microsoft’s Windows 10 experiences video and find out why you might love Windows 10:

If you like Winodws 10 but won’t be willing to buy another system software for your computer, please note that Microsoft announced to provide a free upgrade for Windows 10

“made available to customers running Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 who upgrade in the first year after launch.*”

*Hardware and software requirements apply. No additional charge. Feature availability may vary by device. Some editions excluded. More details at http://www.windows.com.

via The next generation of Windows: Windows 10.

[Poll] What do you think about HoloLens?

We talked a lot about HoloLens, but what do you think about the new device?

Critics about HoloLens

cropped-hololens1.jpgStill impressed by the live presentation of HoloLens, we have to be aware of the enormous product promotion. Actually we  have already heard of a similar product previously when Microsoft presented Kinect as game changing innovation.

In short: despite of all promises nothing really happened and we are still waiting for Kinect coming to take our home entertainment to a new level. Besides this, especially Google had to make the bitter experience that people refuse to wear the AR goggles out in public – the Glass user were even declared as “Glassholes”.

Against this background we meet with skepticism as Microsoft presents another device that should transform our world  – even though with holograms.

In an article from gamesindustry, former Microsoft executive Peter Molyneux was interviewed and raised several concerns.

“It did remind me of [Kinect]. You kind of want to scream ‘don’t over promise these things.’ The thing about the concept videos is they feel so seamless and it just looks like everything’s working and actually, as we found with Kinect, it works all fine if you’ve got the perfect environment and the perfect distance away and you’re the right shape human being. But it’s very challenging if any of those things don’t come together perfectly,”

via Molyneux warns Microsoft: Don’t overpromise on HoloLens | GamesIndustry.biz.

Polygon‘s Ben Kuchera is also more cautious about HoloLens adding that

The problem is that Microsoft has only shown that hardware in a controlled environment, and we have to keep in mind the difference between these first displays of the technology and the reality of what is actually shipped.

via Skeptical of HoloLens? It’s time to rewatch how Microsoft sold us on the Kinect | Polygon.

 

To put it all in a nutshell, Microsoft is taking steps to realize their AR vision. All we can do is being patient about the further development and thinking about how HoloLens could shape our future.

As always, make sure you read the full interview with Peter Molyneux here and take a look at Polygon’s article here.

Best Uses of HoloLens & Favoured Augmented Games

4 specific applications were presented at the Windows 10 live event. Apparently, there is a lot more to do with HoloLens as the potential of AR is increasing permanently.

Cnet’s Donald Bell thought about best uses of HoloLens and presented his TOP 5:

Especially augmented gaming is fascinating many people. But which games are actually suitable?

Steven Wong from Shacknews explored exactly this question and shared 9 games that hold great potential for augmented gaming.

Here are some of his examples:

1. The Sims

sims

The Sims 4

The Sim Creator from The Sims 4 is a perfect example. Imagine having a small 3D hologram of your Sim standing atop your desk as you use your hands to pull on arrows to manipulate its proportons. It would be like creating a virtual sculpture, with the added fun of it coming to life once it’s done.

via 9 Games Ready for Microsoft HoloLens Augmentation | Shacknews.

Visit the Official The Sims Site here.

 

2. Halo: The Master Chief Collection

halo

Halo: Master Chief Collection

Perhaps it could heighten the experience by allowing players to see more from their periphery. It could paint the floor and walls of your room with matching environment tiles, so it feels like you’re playing the game from wherever you are in the game. Lastly, if you get stuck or lost on a level, you could ask ask Cortana where you should go.

via 9 Games Ready for Microsoft HoloLens Augmentation | Shacknews.

Visit the Official Halo Site here

 

3. Alien: Isolation

alien

Alien: Isolation. Nostromo Crew

“You could use the HoloLens to scan through your house and its furniture. Then you would set the starting point and exit, place bystanders, enemies, and gadget parts in different rooms, and pretend (for the sake of the experience) that all other doors and windows don’t work.”

via 9 Games Ready for Microsoft HoloLens Augmentation | Shacknews.

Visit the Official Alien: Isolation Site here.

Do not forget to check out Steven Wong’s full article here!

Mixed Reality (MR)

MR

Reality- Virtuality Continuum

Currently we are talking about AR and VR. But there is still another buzz word that encompasses both terms and has to be considered: Mixed Reality (MR).

But what exactly is MR?

According to Wikipedia, MR is described as follows:

MR refers to the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualisations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time.

Not taking place only in the physical world or the virtual world, but a mix of reality and virtual reality, encompassing augmented reality and augmented virtuality

via Mixed reality – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

So much for the theory. But what does Microsoft actually mean when talking about MR?

Therefore, Alaina Yee, tech editor from IGN, provided another Hands-On Review that explains HoloLens, Mixed Reality and her experiences with the new gadget.

Especially for those who prefer videos over reading Hands-On Reviews!

More detailed: Watch Alaina Yee’s “Behind the Scenes of Windows 10 / HoloLens Event” Podcast here

Minecraft 2.0

Microsoft bought Minecraft for $2,5-billion in September 2014. For those of you who don’t know what Minecraft is all about – watch the Minecraft Trailer [2014]!

Up to now it looked like this. Then HoloLens came out and opened up a completely new dimension of Minecraft: an AR Minecraft version. Only imagine the upcoming possibilities!

The aquisition was confirmed by Mojang in the following way:

creeper

Minecraft Creeper

Yes, the deal is real. Mojang is being bought by Microsoft.

It was reassuring to see how many of your opinions mirrored those of the Mojangstas when we heard the news. Change is scary, and this is a big change for all of us. It’s going to be good though. Everything is going to be OK. ❤

via Yes, we’re being bought by Microsoft.

 

In the light of the above, TGN reacted on Microsoft’s HoloLens demo and speculates about where Microsoft might take Minecraft prospectively:

What do you think of an AR Minecraft version? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below!

If you can’t get enough from Minecraft, also watch Minecraft’s Xbox One version trailer.

Or read Mojang’s official statement here.

The Mystery about “Magic Leap”

Arbeiter Total/leuna

Magic Leap’s introduction image

When talking about HoloLens and the AR market in general, it’s Magic Leap that crosses our mind almost automatically.

Magic Leap is the name of a Florida-based start-up that claims to develop a new AR technology in secrecy. Especially the enormous financing in October 2014 caught a lot of public attention.  According to PR Newswire, Magic Leap raised 542 million in Series B funding.

The investment was mainly led by Google, but also accompanied by Qualcomm Incorporated among others. This is how Magic Leap describes itself:

“Magic Leap is an idea.

An idea that computing should be shaped and forged to work for us: our life, our physiology, our connected relationships. That exploring human creativity is as great an adventure as exploring space.

It’s an idea based in the belief that people should not have to choose between technology or safety, technology or privacy, the virtual world or the real world.”

via Magic Leap.

What this specifically means becomes clearer in the following video. Rony Abovitz, founder and CEO of Magic Leap, explains and demonstrates what Magic Leap is all about:

However, Magic Leap still is myth-enshrouded. To get an enhanced insight in Magic Leap’s activity and technology, visit the following links:

The Customer is King

customer

Hologram Customization enabled by HoloLens

Are we ready for holographic computing? Is it already time to gear up for a new powerful device called HoloLens?

This is where opinions differ. Let’s listen to what James McQuivey, principal analyst and vice president at Forrester,  says about the current hype on HoloLens.

 

In an article from Harvard Business Review, editor Scott Berinato had the chance to interview James McQuivey and got answers to some of the most viral questions concerning HoloLens.

But firstly, we will take a look at the economic perspective:

HBR: Executives don’t have a lot of time to think about things that are just hype. Is there any reason for them to pay attention to HoloLens?

“McQuivey: Yes. As an executive, you care about this because in Forrester’s Technographics survey data, there are 7.2 million adults in the US that have the ideal combination of attributes that makes them early candidates for HoloLens. They like technology, they have an Xbox, they have children, and they have an annual household income of more than $100,000. If Microsoft can persuade even half of them to jump in, that’s 3.6 million consumers, or 45% of the people who bought a Kinect at launch who will try a HoloLens by 2016.”

via What HoloLens Has That Google Glass Didn’t – HBR.

Quite impressive numbers and by the way – 2016 is not too far from reality. James McQuivey reasons his narrow time frame estimation as follows:

Why won’t it take that long?

“All the pieces are in place. Consumers are ready for new technology — Apple sold 80 million iPads in its first two years, compared to 1 million iPods in its first two years. Studying barriers to consumer adoption has been my passion since before my doctoral studies and I now find myself with very little to study given how rapidly the barriers are falling. But the technology itself is moving faster than before.”

via What HoloLens Has That Google Glass Didn’t – HBR.

Fair enough. Nevertheless it is still uncertain how HoloLens will make it through the market as it is still a prototype and not released yet.

James McQuivey argues in favor of an incremental integration into our everyday life – no big-bang-killer-app that changes our routine at once.

“Like the early web, this technology will not generate a killer app but will instead make smaller breakthroughs with existing applications throughout a wider range of industries and companies. Unlike the early web, it will not take a decade for that diffusion to occur.”

via What HoloLens Has That Google Glass Didn’t – HBR.

All we know is that HoloLens attracts a lot of attention as Microsoft seems to make science fiction become reality.

Please read the full article to get further insights into  the topic from Scott Berinato and James McQuivey here.

If you can’t get enough of James McQuivey’s bliefs, also check out his book Digital Disruption!