Microsoft's ambition to take over your living room was more evident than ever at its new hardware event Tuesday in New York where the company demoed "wearable holograms" made possible by its HoloLens augmented reality setup. The brief demo showed how any living room can transform to an alien battlefield with the headset.
The HoloLens team demonstrated probably the most advanced use yet that we've seen of the wireless, untethered, fully self-contained system as a gaming device with something called "Project X-Ray."
Wearing the HoloLens and holding something similiar to a Wii Remote, the demo of what Microsoft calls "mixed reality gaming" showed alien (as seen through the first-person view of the player wearing the headset) enemies emerging from holes in the walls but moving within the confines of the actual room - around furniture, for instance.
The aforementioned "wearable holograms" were also projected by the system to make the handheld device virtually convert into any number of weapons or shields. The entire effect was to essentially project an alternate gameplay world over top of the existing physical space of the real world using a variety of spatial sensors within HoloLens without the need to be connected to a PC or anything else.
HoloLens isn't a brand new product of course, and what Microsoft actually announced today is that the company is going to start taking applications from developers to purchase a HoloLens development kit to begin creating more games and apps for the platform.
The Hololens dev kit will cost $3,000 and be available in the first quarter of 2016. Early partners that have already been working with developing for Hololens include NASA, Autodesk and Case Western Reserve University. It will be exciting to see what the broader masses can come up with next year – hopefully it's more successful than the Google Glass Explorer program.
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