Microsoft HoloLens returns for a demo at Build 2015, lets you pin apps to walls
Maybe the most interesting mobile hardware to be announced so far this year came from Microsoft back in January, as the company unveiled Windows Holographic and its HoloLens headset. Going far beyond phone-based HMDs like the Gear VR, HoloLens is an all-in-one computer that allows users to interact with virtual “holograms” in a real-world environment. We only got a brief look at HoloLens at the time, but today it’s back at Build 2015.
Microsoft highlighted how HoloLens users will be able to interact with regular Windows 10 apps, the same as they’d find on their PCs or phones. Apps can be pinned to walls and appear as virtual frames, or positioned on surfaces as space-filling objects. And with a simple verbal command, apps can be freed from where you’ve pinned them and prompted to follow you around with their windows.
Education is a pretty obvious use case for HoloLens, and Microsoft demonstrated some of the ways that could work as it showed how medical students might get a better understanding of the human body by being to see and interact with it as a life-sized projection.
Microsoft also talked a bit about the HoloLens hardware, explaining how the ring design is intended to distribute hardware all around the user’s head, avoiding imbalance problems.
Finally, the company showed how HoloLens can interact with other hardware, highlighting not only how software running on the headset could be used to control external devices, but how it can share its own spatial data with such hardware, allowing things like robots to navigate spaces without the need for their own tracking systems.