At its Windows 10 briefing this month, Microsoft announced various details about the upcoming operating system, but one thing we weren't really expected was that it will be the 'world’s first holographic computing platform'. However, I think it's only good for two things. See also: Windows 10 UK release date, price, features UK.
This is somewhat at the conceptual stage but Microsoft said it's already started working with third parties to create applications. A set of APIs enable developers to create holographic experiences in the real world, according to the firm.
All of this might sound pretty cool but I'm not so convinced by Microsoft's view of the future of Windows and computing. Find out: How to install Windows 10 now.
Windows 10 being a holographic computing platform doesn't, unfortunately, mean that you can use the OS in a 3D way right in front of you regardless of what you're running it on. You will need the right hardware and that's why Microsoft introduced the HoloLens (above). The wearable gadget is the world’s first untethered holographic computer, has no wires and requires no connection to a PC. Read: Hands-on with Microsoft's HoloLens.
The device itself looks rather swish, that is until you see someone wearing it (see below). It's hardly small like Google Glass so doesn't really 'blend technology with real life' like Microsoft claims. I haven't tried it on but I don't think I need to, you can see how big and bulky it is. Microsoft doesn't seriously expect people to walk around their houses, offices or even out in public with this thing on does it?
One of the problems I have with HoloLens is the way Microsoft is banging on about holograms – it would have made a good drinking game during the second half of the 2+ hour presentation. The HoloLens allows you to see three dimensional objects projected into the world around you but it's not as if anyone can see them, you need to be wearing it. When it comes down to it, this is simply augmented reality – an impressive implementation of it, but nevertheless, a technology which has been around for a long time and features in things like the Nintendo 3DS. See also: 10 best new features in Windows 10.
The other main problem I have with the HoloLens is who exactly is supposed to use it. Microsoft's videos have all sorts of ideas but the only real consumer use I can see for the gadget is gaming. In this area there is a tonnes of potential and is no doubt the future of the gaming industry – although Microsoft mentioned no possibility of using it with the Xbox One (how cool would that be?).
The question is whether someone else will come up with something better and cheaper than Microsoft. We don't know how much is will cost of when it will arrive and Microsoft probably doesn't either.
Aside from gaming, the main thing which Microsoft is touting the HoloLens for is product design making it a gadget for that particular industry. Sure, designing a quad-copter sounds like fun but how am I going to make it once I've done? I probably won't be able to afford to build one after buying the HoloLens anyway.
Oh, and I can't help but think the battery life is going to be absolutely dire.