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How HoloLens handles creating shared experiences

Blair Hanley Frank | April 1, 2016
Yes, you can have a shared holo-cination with Microsoft's augmented reality headgear.

The effect was smooth, and even allowed my fellow students and I to experiment with shooting virtual energy balls at one anothers' avatars to try and knock them out. That responsiveness may have had something to do with the fact that I was on a Microsoft network specifically set up for this demo, but even so, that demo shows that it's doable.

Basic networking systems are built into Microsoft's HoloToolkit developer tools, and should help app makers get started with networked HoloLens applications fairly easily. That's important, since developers who plan to build productivity applications that let people work together on HoloLens will need to network the devices together.

Neeraj Wadhwa, a senior software engineer at Microsoft who helped lead the demonstrations, said that the networking framework will also let developers build applications that run on other Windows and non-Windows devices to let other people interact with holograms.

Microsoft is shipping the HoloLens developer kit to its first set of handpicked app makers starting Wednesday, and it will be interesting to see what those people will do with the devices. Microsoft already has a set of partners lined up to build applications for the HoloLens, including Autodesk, NASA and Case Western Reserve University.

It's clear that there's plenty of interest for Microsoft's new product. What comes next is whether or not the device can capture the money of developers, businesses and consumers alike.

 

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