By far the most exciting part of the Windows 10 briefing that Microsoft gave today was the revelation of Microsoft HoloLens, a secret technology that looks like something Tony Stark should have demoed.
It is, unfortunately, tied in with a headset, but despite that immediate drawback, it looks incredibly impressive. The headset is itself a computer, so it requires no ties to other devices at all, not even WiFi, let alone a wired connection.
The goal of HoloLens is not to put you into a virtual world, but to bring virtual elements into the real world for you to see and interact with. Bringing holograms to the real world has clear applications in gaming (and indeed, the HoloLens video I’ve included below shows off holographic Minecraft beautifully.) But the real star of the presentation was a very Iron Man-like session of 3D modeling with holograms.
Watching a person live on stage manipulating virtual objects with hand gestures was pretty awe-inspiring and made it clear that the future is going to look very different than the computer age we’ve known up until now. We effectively live in the Marvel Cinematic Universe at this point.
The thing that impressed me far more than the actual HoloLens was the message that Microsoft’s briefing sent to viewers. Microsoft is no longer the same company it was even three years ago. This new Microsoft is showing some early signs of a very Google-like mentality. They are aiming high, challenging conceptions of how devices should work. They’ve stepped up their game in a big way and are taking bold risks. They’re not content to iterate on old products anymore. HoloLens is new. HoloLens is exciting in ways we’ve rarely seen from Microsoft.