Mixing it for a holographic operating system
While the AWE 2016 is still running, Microsoft also wants to get into the news again with the Hololens. Just two days ago, they`ve annouched the first major software update for their system. It now supports additional voice commands, their edge browser, bluetooth input devices and multi-tasking (3 apps at a time). While developers (that already have a devkit in their hands) can be happy about this update already, Microsoft continues with more announcements, that should get even bigger attention!
Microsoft wants to team up with partners from the mixed reality space. They just announced this at Computex conference. A quote from their blog here:
Today we focused on the next frontier – mixed reality. Providing devices with the ability to perceive the world, breaking down the barriers between virtual and physical reality is what we call mixed reality. Imagine wearing a VR device and seeing your physical hands as you manipulate an object, working on the scanned 3D image of a real object, or bringing in a holographic representation of another person into your virtual world so you can collaborate. In this world, devices can spatially map your environment wherever you are; manipulating digital content is as easy and natural as picking up a box or sitting at a table; and you can easily teleport into your next meeting or travel together as a team.
So, Microsoft is trying to extend their circles by getting OEM partners on board and by already proclaiming their holographic operating system the single OS you will need to run any kind of reality changes. It´s to say: they see their system as the one for all mixed reality activities including virtual reality. Check out their new (marketing) video:
The interesting thing here is that they officially team up with HTC (you see the Vive in the video) and many other partners, but do not mention Oculus. Possibly Facebook wants to fence off their own eco system for future MR social spaces. We can clearly see the competitors today. Well, honestly, this was no big suprise. It´s gonna be Face-ulus, Google with Daydram and Microsoft.
Is Microsoft planning to leave the hardware builds entirely to their OEM partners? Will the DK1 we hold in our hands today be never released in an upgraded version to the public?
Definitely a smart move to open up further and bring in partners to use their Windows Holographic now. Can´t wait for the day where I don´t need a crummy desktop computer anymore and type in mid-air on my holo keyboard! Their concept video is of course far away from reality, but the full interoperability of the systems including full and easy social interaction (with the nice floating ghostly bubbles) would definitely have real great impact. But we can already fear that with big player´s fences to shield off from the others this might get difficult. The seamless switch between VR and AR is also way not possible today with the DK1 of Hololens. But still: well done, Microsoft! Let´s dream about the future more…
Let´s see what else we see this week during AWE and others!