If you haven’t heard about the Microsoft HoloLens, congratulations on so skillfully hiding under that rock for the past six months. The game-changing device was announced in January at the Consumer Electronics Show, better known as CES 2015 and is scheduled for release in the same timeframe as Windows 10. Until Microsoft’s HoloLens was first demonstrated, virtual reality devices like the Oculus Rift dominated the spotlight. Now, that’s all changing.
The difference between the two platforms might be subtle to those who haven’t experienced the technology firsthand. Virtual reality seeks to immerse you in a completely different setting. We’ve all seen the Oculus Rift and Sony’s Project Morpheus, systems designed with gamers in mind. Of course everyone is excited to get their hands on the newest crazy technology. Who wouldn’t be?
Okay, so what does the Microsoft HoloLens do that virtual reality can’t?
Augmented reality is a little bit different. Instead of putting a screen in front of your eyes, the Microsoft HoloLens uses holographic projection to overlay objects, places or people directly in front of the ones already there.
Theoretically, you could use the device in place of a traditional television set. Simply switch on the HoloLens and use your thumb and index finger to overlay a screen against the nearest empty wall. Want it bigger or smaller? No problem. In the same way, you can use the HoloLens goggles to attach a holographic grocery list to the fridge or cover your bedroom walls with Harry Potter-like picture frames and posters that come alive. The possibilities are endless.
While virtual reality adds a new device to an already overwhelming catalog, the Microsoft HoloLens embraces the opportunity to use augmented reality to replace the gadgets we already use by assimilating all of their functions itself. Nifty, right?
More importantly, the Microsoft HoloLens could revolutionize the way we educate students of any profession. For a better idea of how, look no further than the featured video above!