back to article Why Microsoft's 3D HoloLens goggles aren't for Google Glassholes

A pair of 3D ski glasses eclipsed Windows 10 at Microsoft’s next-generation event on Wednesday. Headline writers and geeks cooed over HoloLens, a set of virtual reality eyewear, and accompanying 3D HoloLens software. It was easy to get distracted from something as boring as a new Windows client. With free pricing and the …

  1. P. Lee Silver badge

    The problem with hololens

    It does really cool demo's, but like G-glass, you'd never wear it out. And for games, you really want VR, not augmented reality, unless you're playing some sort of laser tag with added flying aliens.

    Any game which requires significant physical movement is going to lose out to key-pressing, mouse-wielding opponents.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: The problem with hololens

      I think that is the whole point of Hololens, it isn't designed to be worn out and about posing, it is designed to accomplish things.

    2. Halfmad Silver badge

      Re: The problem with hololens

      This has quite a few possible applications in medicine, architecture, engineering and is frankly more a work friendly device than consumer - I'd be surprised if Apple wasn't considering something similar, but different (and probably more expensive).

      1. Kristian Walsh

        Re: The problem with hololens

        @Halfmad, Apple is an unlikely candidate, as the company doesn't sell into those markets too much. Apple does have a small "enterprise" market, but those customers are in the design and media industries (print, tv, cinema, web) - all very much 2-dimensional (with the half-exception of cinema stereoscopy).

        In industrial product design, biomedical research, architecture and what used to be called CAD/CAM, Windows is the predominant OS.

  2. DougS Silver badge

    Hololens hype

    Reminds me of Glass hype. It looks cool until you figure out it isn't really useful for anything. OK games, sure, but does anyone ever see a chance of an office full of people wearing these? Or wearing this at home while you're reading email, checking out Facebook or watching cat videos?

    At least there's no chance someone will be enough of a twat to wear one while driving.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Hololens hype

      I can think of dozens of verticals where this could be useful.

      1. Kristian Walsh

        Re: Hololens hype

        ...me too, and one of them (highway surface inspection and maintenance) does indeed involve someone wearing them while driving, or at least being driven.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: Hololens hype

          Why would highway surface inspection work better with someone wearing a hololens versus looking at a laptop showing the same information?

          1. Brenda McViking

            Re: Hololens hype

            Because we're designed to work in 3D, not 2D. A laptop screen is a pathetic way of transferring information in a human-brain friendly format. Sure, it works, but it isn't actually an efficient way of doing it. Otherwise why do we have mutliple screens, tabbed browsing, Alt-Tab? because we're constrained to only having one window of information available to us instantly in 2D space. Put that in 3D, together with a way of navigating around it, and you're looking at a more intuitive way of information transfer which works better with humans.

            I don't expect the majority of people over the age of 30 to properly comprehend why 3D offers such a huge scope for improvement, but I can clearly see how this *could* change things in the future. And indeed, as Star trek and other films dating from the 60s paved the way for technology such as automatic doors, so too films and games of the 21st centure will open up our general receptiveness to 3D working environments. Watch Iron man, or Avatar for a simple glimpse of potential use-cases. Crysis. Assassins Creed, Halo - all have toyed with the idea of "holography" orders of magnitude more advanced than star wars did.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Hololens hype

              It could be used to pretend to be a big blue alien, on another planet, if you lost the use of your legs in a war? That's your suggested use case?

    2. Indolent Wretch

      Re: Hololens hype

      Are you suggesting that an AR providing, net-connected glasses system, that eventually is no different to any normal pair of (sun)glasses, that has voice recog and pupil sensing isn't really useful for anything?

  3. Joefish
    Facepalm

    Lots of technical applications for this.

    Very few in entertainment. Does anyone seriusly play the AR games on a 3DS more than once? Surely all it would take would be some sort of detachable blackened surround to do immersive VR?

    But no, another fail from Microsoft.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Does anyone seriusly play the AR games on a 3DS more than once?

      I quite liked Face Raiders...(I know it's not considered by Nintendo to be an AR game)

      Wasn't so hot on the others so much (leaning over a table trying to keep the cards in focus and the 3DS the requisite 30Cm from my eyes was a pain.

      A fail judgement for the tech, already? (just because there may be no compelling entertainment applications?)

  4. Dylbot

    I'd love to bin off my monitors at work and swap them for one of these. Imagine how much easier it'll be to stealth browse El Reg when no-one else can see your screen.

    I mean work, and productivity, and pie charts and shit.

  5. Rick Giles
    Linux

    Pay no attention to the OS behind the lenses

    "A pair of 3D ski glasses eclipsed Windows 10 at Microsoft’s next-generation event..."

    So it IS just smoke an mirrors.

    I can't say that I wont end up with some poor piece of unsuspecting hardware with Windows 10 installed on it, but I can say I will actively refuse it for as long as I can. I didn't buy into the shite that Windows 8.x is and only recently have been using W7 (mostly at work).

    I hope that this OS is as big a flop as Vista/W8 was/is. Microsoft really just needs to give up and make a GUI for Linux. And give it away to the general public.

    1. L05ER

      Re: Pay no attention to the OS behind the lenses

      you can keep your tarballs...

      windows does not need to die, it just needs the proper attention.

      1. Rick Giles
        Pirate

        @L05ER Re: Pay no attention to the OS behind the lenses

        "windows does not need to die, it just needs the proper attention."

        And by proper attention, I am assuming you mean a wipe and reload of Linux.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          FAIL

          Re: @L05ER Pay no attention to the OS behind the lenses

          Sure, can you get my Lync client working with the 3000 people on our internal system and the 20,000+ we are federated with?

    2. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Re: Pay no attention to the OS behind the lenses

      But they do make my eyes a fetching shade of blue while I'm performing the obligtory reboot.

  6. Gary Bickford

    A lot of potential

    With a bit of effort I could probably come up with 1/2 dozen new applications that folks might use everyday. For starters - some carmakers are talking about heads-up displays reflected off the windshield, but it might be better to just wear these and have the car talk to them. You could include stereo cameras on all four corners of the cabin, giving stereo vision that can see over the car in front of or behind you. These might be the same ones the car is using for automatically maintaining distance, monitoring road conditions, etc.

    Right now I'm using a ViewSonic projector to display a 1080P image on my wall for a second screen, and I'm running the Compiz Desktop Cube to give me four workspaces. All that could be done inside the goggles with no worries about darkening the room. I've wanted 3D workspaces / "desktops" since at least 1978, when I first started working with 3D programming. With these goggles I could wander around the house, go get a drink, etc. while watching a video, or shift from sitting to standing, change rooms, whatever while working.

    1. Andy Gates

      Re: A lot of potential

      Sysadmin here: three-monitor desk tryptich, couple of lappies in for servicing and the Big Board on the wall showing (mostly) green. I *love* the idea of binning that lot for a dynamic bunch of virtual screens. Windows-in-windows, even. Fly-eye wall of screens? Done. "Hey Cortana, imax this" Vwoosh.

  7. James Loughner
    Facepalm

    True Holography??

    Does this product actually have anything at all to do with Holographs??

    3D ok Holography not so much! Sound a lot like market hype to me. I guess if they called them 3D glasses it would not make a splash.

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: True Holography??

      "Does this product actually have anything at all to do with Holographs??"

      Very unlikely but please explain how you came up with this conjecture since I haven't seen any mention of holographs nor even holograms. Most likely the product doesn't feature anything related to Holocene period or The Holocaust either.

      "Sound a lot like market hype to me. I guess if they called them 3D glasses it would not make a splash."

      Google Glass likely doesn't have actual glass, NetHack isn't used for hacking nor does it have network features, Ford Escort didn't actually provide an escort service, and Oracle is anything but.

      Take a chill pill, bro.

      1. Cipher

        Re: True Holography??

        @ Sandtitz

        Maybe the name HoloLens is a clue...

      2. Andy Gates
        Devil

        Re: True Holography??

        Don't even mention drone hackers and drone hackers. ;)

    2. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: True Holography??

      Do Jaguar make cars powered by actual Jaguars?

    3. harmjschoonhoven
      Boffin

      Re: True Holography??

      And the answer is http://www.technologyreview.com/news/415755/head-up-displays-go-holographic/

      So also links and comments on this site.

  8. Spanners Silver badge
    Boffin

    ?Windows Only?

    Will it be possible to integrate it with other operating systems?

    For those into #iShiny things IOS

    For 90% plus of smartphone users - Android

    For the future - Linux

    When MS brought out "Kinnex" (I know but they sound similar) it was XBox only but that is no longer the case. Hopefully this will do the same.

  9. BitDr

    I like it...

    Applications abound, but I (and people like me) have to be able to develop on our platform of choice. It also has to be secure, imagine graffiti (or worse) popping into your holographic-space. I can think of loads of uses for this, but it needs independence from the Internet and any particular O/S. It has to be able to work with everything or it will fail. If a design shop runs Macs and wants to write software to display it's UI, or a part of it's UI in this device then it should be doable. Same for the *nix Operating Systems. It can't be Internet dependent, but its nature necessitates network dependence, which can be exclusive of the Internet.

    I like it! Well done! Now, lets see if the business-types at MS screw it up... my gut tells me they will be greedy and try to tie it to their ecosystem to monetize the crap out of it. This will result in the Zune-effect taking hold and the product dying before it gets any real traction.

  10. DudeMan

    Must be nerds first

    As per the sentence in the article: "Nerds rigged Kinect systems to drive armchairs hands free and to groom pussies." Who didn't click on the link to clarify what was being groomed?? Odd choice in wordage, no? And in 30 previous comments, nobody mentioned this? Must be a bunch of nerds alright. LOL

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