At Microsoft’s Build developer conference in San Francisco this week, Microsoft wowed the crowd with its HoloLensvirtual reality glasses.
Microsoft was trying to drum up excitement for the “Windows Holographic Platform” tools that let developers write apps for HoloLens as part of Windows 10.
In talking to about a dozen developers at the show, Business Insider detected plenty of buzz. All of the developers said that they were blown away by HoloLens, couldn’t wait to try it and to start writing apps for it. And they believed that HoloLens will succeed where Google Glass failed.
“Glass was distracting,” one developer told us. Glass projected information on top of the real world.
HoloLens projects a hologram onto the real world, whether an image, a movie, or an interactive app. It supports a multitude of hand gestures to let you manipulate the hologram.
Most importantly, “With HoloLens you can calibrate it to do a projection where you want it. That’s really slick,” Dustin Parkman, VP of software development for Bentley Systems, told us.
That kind of control makes the device more useful, particularly for work apps, some developers believe.
An app can put a projection next to the thing you are working on, or on top of it.
“HoloLens is the thing I’m most excited about,” one developer told us. “It’s going to revolutionise the way we do our jobs.”
We heard that a lot.
“HoloLens is a completely new platform. I want to write apps for it,” Erkan Tatlidil, managing director of Dubai-based Evonade told us.
“HoloLens is amazing. It’s a complete game changer. There are limitless possibilities,” another developer told us. “If any company has the muscle to bring out augmented reality, Microsoft does, especially since HoloLens is integrated with their new OS. That’s going to open a whole wide market for this product.”
That said, all of these developers acknowledged that Microsoft has been stingy with the details about the device, like cost, weight and battery life. If any of those are not reasonable, the device will fail.
There was some hope that the company would give away a developer’s version at the show — or at least make one available for purchase. Programmers want to get under the hood and see what the device can do.
Right now, however, Microsoft is only offering demonstrations and there’s no word on when the device itself will be available to the general public. Attendees certainly don’t get to take one home.
There’s lots of excitement for this new category of device. But there’s also plenty of scepticism as to whether Microsoft can create a smash hit with it or, or if someone else will beat Microsoft to the punch.
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