Microsoft Is Eyeing Business Applications for HoloLens

After spending most of the year whetting the public?EU?s appetite with demonstration videos, Microsoft is giving people the chance to try out its HoloLens augmented reality (AR) headset devices. This week Microsoft?EU?s New York flagship retail location is hosting what it calls the HoloLens Experience Showcase, allowing developers and others to try products developed for HoloLens.

Microsoft plans to sell $3,000 development kits around HoloLens next year, presumably as a step toward creating apps for the headset and eventually establishing the AR technology as a viable computing platform.

Microsoft hosted a trio of demonstrations for developers and journalists at its Fifth Avenue location. The demos included HoloStudio, which uses a combination of hand gestures and voice commands to move and recolor objects in a scene.

Another, Project X-Ray, uses the room-scanning ability of HoloLens as part of a controller-based game in which the object is to blast aliens coming out of the surrounding walls. Finally, the newest demo project is a creation tool that combines 3D animation and Microsoft?EU?s PowerPoint, allowing the user to create and refine a visual presentation. The twist to this tool is that HoloLens can determine how interested spectators are by where they look.

Business Applications

HoloLens differs from virtual reality in that it projects 3D simulations of holographic experiences onto what the wearer of the headset sees in reality.

While Microsoft?EU?s New York showcase demonstrated the fun-and-games aspect of HoloLens, it remains to be seen what business uses the technology will have. We reached out to Sean Whitmore, research analyst at Greenlight VR, to get his thoughts on this subject. He told us he's confident that HoloLens will benefit from further business applications.

"That is why Autodesk has partnered with Microsoft to bring their 3D visualization software to this new product," said Whitmore. "In the long run, non-gaming...

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