Today may in time come to be viewed as a seminal moment in the history of Augmented Reality. While the past week’s tech headlines were full of stories, misplaced as it happens, that the Glass project was dead in the water, the team at Microsoft were preparing for the announcement of …. The HoloLens.
While the narrative in the launch announcement and video is directed towards the concept of holograms, essentially what we have here is augmented reality, pure and simple. So the face-off between the giants can begin – Google, Facebook and now Microsoft.
For AR the Microsoft move represents a game changer – already the company had signaled its interest in AR, with developer programmes centered on exploiting the Kinect platform in several areas, among them retail virtual mirrors. But The Hololens offers the tantalizing prospect of rapid spread of interest in AR, initially via leveraging the company’s millions strong gaming eco-system.
Below is an extended version of the launch promotion video which includes an interview with the HoloLens brainchild, Alex Kipman. As they say in the video – “that was science fiction, now we’re bringing it into science fact”. Indeed.