The world of mixed reality was on display during the Wednesday morning keynote speech at Sensors Expo in San Jose, as Microsoft’s Director of Science Marc Pollefeys described the company’s HoloLens technology as a future way humans could reach interact with machines and access information.
For those not familiar, HoloLens is Microsoft’s foray into the virtual reality world, using a head-mounted unit that is actually a self-contained holographic computer. The technology takes advantage of advanced sensors and sensor fusion technology to see, map, and understand a physical environment surrounding a person. The sensors team with advanced processing hardware and software to create a virtual interactive environment, as shown in the video below.
According to Pollefeys, HoloLens is designed to leverage human visual capabilities. “The HoloLens continuously computes the position and renders the image. Cameras sense the environment continuously.” By interacting with holograms in mixed reality, the technology enables the user to work with digital content as part of a real world.
The hand gesture is an important part of HoloLens, as it enables the user to open apps and select items. Also, sensors enable users to simply gaze to move a cursor to select holograms.
Although one might think of gaming when seeing HoloLens, Pollefeys sees a larger potential role for the technology in the everyday business world. “HoloLens is designed to be a deskless task worker,” he says. To that end, Pollefeys mentioned uses such as 3D CAD, training, and even service and repair. “There is the potential for the service technician to use the technology to diagnose and repair problems in the field, guided by someone at the central service location who is online.”
Pollefeys also believes the technology can be adopted to drones and robots, as well as autonomous vehicles. “HoloLens can aid in rendering 3D images in autonomous driving situations, observing human behavior.”