Microsoft's New Wearable Computer Will Let You Print Objects From Your Imagination

We just saw an amazing new product demo from Microsoft. It involves the surprise new device that Microsoft announced on Wednesday called HoloLens, new software called HoloStudio, and a 3D printer.

HoloLens is a headset device that’s like a cross between Google Glass and the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. But unlike Glass, where all the virtual elements are localised to a tiny display that’s right in front of one of your eyes, HoloLens lets you see virtual elements everywhere you look.

You will be able to use the device to create your own holograms, or virtual elements that will appear in the real world when you don the HoloLens. You won’t completely dependent on an app developer to write cool apps for you, however; HoloStudio is akin to movie editing software: anyone can use it.

Microsoft showed a demo of HoloStudio in action.

First you wear HoloLens…

Then you fire up the software. You can create a 3D object by pointing at choices the app offers: sticks and spheres and so on.

It turns out, she was building a drone helicopter-like thing.

And by hooking up to a 3D printer, the demo printed the 3D copter, turning an imaginary object into a real thing.

Microsoft’s current version of Windows, Windows 8, already supports 3D printing. Windows 10 will support it as well.

To be fair, the demo didn’t actually print the hologram on stage. It had been previously printed. But the demo was certainly enough to get the idea across. Amazing things are coming with the next generation of augmented reality computers.

It’s not clear when these devices and apps will be available, much less the ability to 3D print your hologram creations.

When introducing the device on Wednesday, Microsoft’s Alex Kipman (who helped build the original software for Kinect), vaguely said it would be available in the Windows 10 timeframe.

Windows 10 is expected to be out next fall, but Microsoft hopes to have early builds of Windows Holographic, the virtual platform that supports the HoloLens, available by this spring.

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