Microsoft HoloLens: Ready for Developers With A Kit Of 7 Apps & Games
Windows is set to reveal apps and games that will ship together with its HoloLens headset today. The gadget, which is touted to be Microsoft’s product to counteract its competitor VR products, has been development for some time. And now it is set to reveal its first batch of the reportedly seven apps / games that are now available in the HoloLens development.Advertisement
The Microsoft HoloLens, according to Chip Chick, is the Window’s high tech approach to augmented reality. Microsoft has decided that instead of following its competitors into the VR foray, it went the other way and created this headset that will fill the user’s field of vision with what the tech firm calls “holograms.”
Holograms are virtual objecst that a user can interact with as if these objects were real and has a physical shape. It includes making 3D models as well as virtual menus and apps accessible to the viewer while maintaining their natural field of vision.
For a time, Microsoft has shown off some higher level uses of their latest product including the virtual Mars exploration. But this time, they are ready to be more open things that could be developed and done to its headset. That is the reason why the seven apps and/or games are said to be made available to the public through its dev kit, so that they can entice more developers to create more for its headset.
The Verge reports that the apps and games are the HoloStudio, adding Skype into the headset, HoloTour, Fragments, Young Conker, RoboRaid, and Actiongram. These apps are part of the dev kit are applications while the remaining three are games.
HoloStudio is the first app that the American firm has unveiled last year. It combines gestures, voice and the HoloLens gaze feature to allow users to create 3D objects. It is said that it is a bit complicated, but having it in the dev kit means that the tech giant wants to show potential developers that apps and games can be so much more than the usual basics.
Another application that involves the said headset is making Skype calls available for download to allow calls between users. Because of this, HoloLens developers will be able to see each other’s holograms through Skype calls and be able to illustrate them. Since calls are two-way, a HoloLens version means a user can allow anyone to draw objects into another user’s place, even when in reality he is physically far from the location.
HoloTour is an app designed to show 360 degree panoramic views of place like Rome and Machu Picchu. It’s a bit similar to travel apps that we have seen today on smartphones, however, it is a bit more immersive and similar to virtual reality.
Fragments is the game part of the HoloLens, which is a mixed reality crime drama using the viewer’s own living room. Characters from the said game will appear and sit down on the user’s sofa to strike up a conversation.
It demonstrates the AR features of the HoloLens and according to Microsoft’s Kudo Tsunoda, the game will teach the user something unexpected about mixed reality. Tsunoda says ‘”When your living room has been used as the set for a story, it generates memories for you of what digitally happened in your space like it was real.”
Meanwhile Conker involves some unique game play where each level is tailored to the user’s environment and the “Young Conker” uses traditional gaming mechanics that are mixed with ordinary objects from the player’s living room.
RoboRaid, which was previously named as “Project X-ray,” was seen last year and it involves a robot battle game. It makes use of wearable holograms combined into a first person shooter. It also uses the gamer’s living room with spatial sound that will guide the player throughout the game. The player interacts with it using gaze, gestures and regular voice input.
Last but not the least is the Actiongram app. This app is still coming this summer and it is designed to become a simple storytelling app. It will let developers create videos with special effects that can all be viewed on the Microsoft HoloLens.
All these apps and games will be in the Microsoft HoloLens dev kit which according to USA Today will cost $3,000 USD and will begin shipping this coming March 30.
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