We’re incredibly intrigued by Microsoft’s recent announcement of the HoloLens, a interface based on interactive holograms that can be manipulated with natural gestures such as pointing waving and pinching, as well as voice commands. The system relies on a headset that can also read head and eye movements to allow you to explore the display, which blends real objects with virtual ones.
As designers, the most exciting potential for the system lies in its ability to allow users to create and manipulate objects. We can see this as an enormous benefit in all parts of the design process, from rough 3D sketches, to CAD development and fine tuning and modifying existing designs. (Some of the everyday scenarios suggested in the video above seem less likely.) Though the handful of journalists who had a chance to try a Hololens prototype earlier this month reported that the demos were highly scripted to illustrate key features and avoid performance snafus, experts seemed impressed by what they experienced. The New York Times’ Farhad Manjoo reports that, “…the HoloLens is wondrous. It blew me away. And it suggests that interacting with holograms could become an important part of how we use machines in the future.”
And we’re also excited to share the news that Lab friends Joshua Walton and James Tichenor whom we interviewed at last year’s Sketching in Hardware Summit were part of the team at Microsoft that was responsible for making HoloLens a reality.