If you wanted to get a hands-on preview with the new Augmented Reality headset, the company has announced that Microsoft’s HoloLens will be showcased in NYC at the company’s flagship store, located between 53rd and 54th streets on Fifth Avenue. The bad news is that this preview is only available through an appointment and is currently only open to developers, unfortunately.
The HoloLens has gathered a tremendous amount of hype since participants at E3 2015 were able to experience this new take on VR headsets. It was shown alongside the new Halo 5 Guardians game, while, at Microsoft’s conference, the HoloLens was unveiled in connection to Minecraft. What is important to note is the fact that what the cameras and screens showed during the conference is not entirely true in regards to how the device actually works.
The area in which the AR takes place is relatively small, it doesn’t engulf your entire field of view. This will more than likely be adjustable through calibration once the HoloLens will hit the markets, but still, the problem still exists. If one would look to the side or above and below the area affected by AR, the device will not show anything.
Even so, it is a rather ingenious headset, aiming towards a different angle when compared to VR that takes up your entire field of view. However, its application in games or other forms of interactive media is still up for discussion. What made users excited was actually the way in which the headset conveys audio output, by vibrations sent directly to your inner ear. From the AR point of view, even if it was exciting, it eventually came off more like an enjoyable experience, not something you would opt to do each and every single day.
The Developer Edition of Microsoft’s AR headset will cost developers $3.000 dollars, a rather hefty sum when compared to Oculus Rift Devkit 2’s price of $350. The experience at the flagship store will consist of interacting with a completely untethered holographic computer powered by the Windows 10 OS. Why would the general public opt for this kind of computer, instead of sitting a comfortable chair at your own desk, is currently still up for debate.
The program previewed alongside the HoloLens revolves around an improvement in the creation of visual presentations. This is achieved by combining Microsoft’s PowerPoint software with a 3D animation tool, allowing for a higher degree of refinement. Mouse movements and clicks are achieved by simply looking at the area you wish to select and tapping the air in front of you. Again, this sounds extremely fascinating, but will have to prove its capability in order to make users switch from mouse control.
Taking into account how well Microsoft’s Kinect technology worked with gesture controls, the company will have to make a rather hard push if it wishes to market gesture controls to gamers once again. This is mostly due to the fact that Kinect didn’t really work with precise gestures and movements. On some occasions, the device couldn’t even pick up movements like leaning and ample hand motions.
Because Microsoft’s HoloLens will be showcased in NYC, more information will more than likely be released by developers in regards to how the headset actually holds up. Appointments are being made constantly, the company even stating that if developers don’t act fast, they won’t be able to get on the list. The developer version of HoloLens will begin shipping in 2016’s first quarter.