Microsoft Offers $500K for New HoloLens Ideas

Why would anyone ever need HoloLens, MicrosoftEUs new augmented reality headset? If you can think of a reason, the company is willing to offer you $100,000 to explain it, according to a request for proposal issued Tuesday. In fact, Redmond will award five such grants to research teams willing to develop applications for the new platform.

Announced earlier this year as part of the companyEUs rollout of its Windows 10 operating system, Microsoft described the device as an EUuntethered see-through holographic computer.EU It consists of a headset that projects holographic images over real-world objects. In addition to projecting images, the HoloLens can also accept commands using hand gestures, voice commands, and eye movements, allowing users to manipulate holographic objects directly.

Looking for New Applications

Microsoft said the platform is built on the same core as Windows 10 and will be compatible with Windows 10 applications. Although the HoloLens naturally lends itself to gaming applications, Microsoft is pushing the potential commercial uses of the interface as well. The company said the device EUwill help make incredible leaps forward for productivity, collaboration, and innovation.EU

The RFP noted several areas that Microsoft is looking at for potential HoloLens applications, including data visualization, education, and communication and collaboration. Medical students could use the device to interact with 3D models, while enterprises could use it to make virtual conferences more effective. The proposal also mentioned possible applications for remote training and support.

The company suggested that the HoloLens could also have less obvious applications in fields such as narrative storytelling and interactive journalism, along with possibilities for psychological research into human perception and human-computer interactions.

EUWe expect that researchers will envision novel ways of using HoloLens -- from interactively teaching students, to creating mixed-realty art installations, to manipulating holographic data to reveal new relationships . . ....

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