Hololens: Microsoft’s next “Big Thing”

On January 21st, at the Windows 10: The Next Generation event Microsoft unveiled their latest product, the Hololens. The Hololens is essentially smart glasses with a Windows 10 computer built in to let the user have control of their surroundings through holograms. This product has been recently compared to Google Glass, which was released a couple years ago. Although it is easy to compare the two, there are many differences.

Microsoft-HoloLensWith the Microsoft Hololens the user can have images portrayed in front of them, while the Google Glass was just what you saw in front of you, nothing new. The Harvard Business Review discussed what really sets Hololens apart from Google Glass with James McQuivey of Forrester, an independent digital market research firm.

In several YouTube advertisements on their channel, Microsoft showed consumers what they can expect from this product. In the first advertisement called “Transform your world with Holograms” Microsoft brought the viewer into their world of holograms and how they can be applied to businesses as well as your everyday life. In one example the demonstrator had a 3D figure of a dirt bike and showed her co-workers some ideas she had about where to fit the gas tank. Microsoft is really taking the idea of 3D imaging and holograms to a new level.

In another YouTube advertisement Microsoft sat down with part of the team that helped create the Hololens and asked them about their creative process and what they thought about the future of holograms. I really enjoyed this specific ad because you could tell the team was genuinely proud of what they had accomplished and were excited about what this technology had in store for the future.

With Microsoft being primarily in the software side of technology, except for the hugely popular Xbox franchise, it came as a bit of a surprise that they were taking such a huge leap into this type of technology. With Google leading in this technology it is interesting to see Microsoft developing such a cool and innovative product. MGD Advertising out of Florida discussed how Microsoft is rising in the technology race while it seems Google is declining.

I see what they are trying to say in this piece. With Google Glass pulling the plug on the production of the first Google Glass (though confirming there will be a second version), this is Microsoft’s chance to rise up and try to take the crown that Google has had such a hold on.

hololens interactionOf course there are people who do not think this makes Microsoft a formidable company in the hardware tech sector. While it is fair to say that Microsoft has had their bad ideas and flops in the past, I feel like this product is something that can really bring them to a whole new level of supremacy. The Hololens seems like a product that will stick around long enough for the public to really understand what holograms can do to help them improve doing tasks in their lives. Microsoft’s advertisements give the user a glimpse into the relatively unknown world of holograms and what they can do to help them in their everyday lives.

A few questions: What do you think the future of Hololens is? Do you think this is a product that has staying power and could be a major change to the technology landscape? Is Microsoft the company that is going to break through with hologram technology?

Brice Berger

6 thoughts on “Hololens: Microsoft’s next “Big Thing”

  1. I think the future is very bright for the Hololens. Many people want to be able to see what they are working on, which is something a computer screen does a good, but not great job at. The Hololens could give consumers exactly what they are looking for, and honestly could start a race between Microsoft and Google to create the next big thing. I do think that Microsoft will break through with this hologram technology. The ads look convincing enough for me.

  2. This looks very promising. I feel that Microsoft is going about this the right way, whereas Google made mistakes. Google tried to make it an everyday item for consumers. It didn’t do enough to be worth the price tag and had a negative stigma (Glassholes) attached to those that wore it. Hollowlense is in the workplace. It looks a little goofy, but if it can deliver, it has huge potential in the world of design and could be a revolutionary piece of equipment.

  3. It’s weird to see the hololens compared to google glass. Google glass just seems so small while the hololens looks like Lieutenant Forge’s visor. It will definitely be interesting to see if it works the way that they have described it. It almost looks like they went for the exact opposite of google glass. Not only with the physical layout of them but the things they are used for. I feel that google glass is for social media and things of that sort but that the hololens is used for more business and more interactive settings than google glass. The hololens just looked so complex and all the little things that they showed look really interesting. Hopefully it turns out the way the video depicted it because they would be really fun to mess around with.

  4. While I want to support this product I want to get too excited for it. At this point in time the HoloLens has been on the right track. Not to mention NASA would never support to visualize the surface of Mars if it didn’t have faith that Microsoft wouldn’t deliver. I think that Microsoft need the HoloLens, because if it wants to compete in the future it will have to face the Oculus Rift and Sony’s Morpheus Project.

  5. After watching the ads and thinking about them for a bit, I find it hard to believe that they actually work like they make it look. They never show anything from the perspective of the viewer, which might not be possible with a camera. I just get the feeling of this being too far out, and too unbelievable for me to trust this campaign. Also, the combination of the digital and physical world could have negative effects on society. Right now, the two worlds are separated with screens. If this works like they claim it works, it would literally change reality for the coming generations. People may lose interest in the physical world.

  6. The most interesting thing, to me, about to the Hololens is the fundamental characteristics of it. We thought we had an accurate depiction of what the utilization of holograms would be like in the future (something along the lines of those seen in Star Wars) but Microsoft is kind of flipping that around and making it more realistic to today’s technology with the concept of wearables. While I think Hololens has potential to be very useful (in some regard) to industry professionals, the whole design of it (as of now) is very large and awkward which I think will keep the device characterized as “gimmicky” until the design is improved (which is something I believe Google will end up doing better).

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