Even though virtual reality is upon us, the arrival of Microsoft’s HoloLens won’t be for a while longer.
Microsoft isn’t keen on building its own traditional VR headset, and it doesn’t have a release date for its magical augmented reality (AR) headgear. So until that happens, Microsoft has concocted a plan.
It wants to use the allure of VR and AR to sell VR headset manufacturers, developers, and users on its Windows 10 operating system. Microsoft announced on Wednesday that Windows Holographic won’t be simply a special version of Windows that connects to its HoloLens headset.
Sometime soon, Microsoft wants to bring all its features to the traditional versions of Windows 10, which means opening up the floodgates for VR headset makers to develop their own headsets for computers using Microsoft’s most recent OS.
But Microsoft grand vision needs all those headsets to play nice with Windows, too. If successful, the plan would allow people to work together from across different time zones as if they were in the same office, regardless of the headset each of them is using.
Even if one person would be using an HTC Vive and their colleague a HoloLens, Microsoft’s new platform would allow them to see each other and their surroundings so they could collaborate on their project.
This will be made possible with the help of the HoloLens’ sensors; as they scan the room, Microsoft’s platform can share that visual data with the HTC Vive user as well.
Of course, this unbelievable scenario only really works if at least one person has purchased a $3,000 HoloLens Development Kit – which hasn’t even made it to the shelves yet.
But Microsoft’s plan doesn’t have to wait some more years until a consumer-ready version of the HoloLens will arrive; before the idea of VR and AR collaboration will bear fruit, the company hopes to inspire as many developers as possible to create Universal Windows Applications for VR headsets right now.
The catch is that if they start using Microsoft’s standard, the applications they build now will work just as well on AR headsets like the HoloLens later.
Microsoft’s idea is simpler pitch than asking VR developers to build apps for the HoloLens itself, which might not be released yet for some years.
Image Source: Wired