Holographic Academy video reveals our HoloLens experience from Build

In early May, Microsoft held their annual Build conference to talk about Windows 10, development tools, and the future. HoloLens and Microsoft's holographic computing initiative was one of the main features with some attendees getting into the Holographic Academy experience.

I wrote about the Holographic Academy, our introduction to the tools to write apps for HoloLens and my experience back then. This Holographic Academy was impressive because not only is HoloLens real but developers can start making apps for it using tools they already own today.

During the event, members of the press were forbidden to take photos or video of the two-hour session. However, it was obvious that Microsoft had plenty of filming going on with professional-grade video equipment strewn about the lab area. Now, that video has finally surfaced.

'Microsoft HoloLens: Holographic Academy and Project Origami' is a two-minute video that reveals the experience attendees had at Build. It also highlights features of HoloLens like spatial mapping, spatial sound, voice input, and gestures. These were all things we programmed into 'apps' for HoloLens and were able to experience firsthand that day.

There is still no word on when HoloLens will become available, pricing, or its target market. However, it is clear that this is not just a side project for Microsoft. Instead, it is a long-term commitment to the concept of holographic computing.

Ten years from now, we will look back at this as the time holograms entered our computing world. So make sure you take this moment in, it is rather a big deal!

Source: Microsoft (YouTube); via Neowin

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • I still feel that for this to be a success, Microsoft needs to make the field of view not perfect but an acceptable size. If they need to go back to engineering and take another 6 months to get it right, I think they should do it. Don't worry about holiday season sales. Get it acceptable so that it has a great perception, gets devs excited, and sells at least 5 Million unit in the first quarter and has a sub $999 price.
  • Unfortunately, Kudo has said that it is unlikely that the FoV will change much, which is really unfortunate, as I fear too many people will dismiss it entirely and pursue VR instead (whereas I think HoloLens has more potential than VR).
  • I think people need to try it themselves and, ideally, have it fitted just right. At E3, I heard nothing but adulation for it from first-time users and gamers alike.
  • I'm greatly excited for HoloLens, but I still would like them to take the time to make the FoV as large as reasonably possible. I haven't had the opportunity to try it, but if they fix the FoV I would be willing to spend $1500-$2000 (hopefully it's less) without ever having laid eyes on one. But with the comments I've heard about where the FoV is today, I would definitely have to try one out before spending that kind of money. I REALLY want HoloLens, but a small FoV and a high price would give me pause.
  • But you don't know that the FoV needs fixing. As Daniel points out, first-time users didn't have a problem with it, it's only those who tried the tethered development version in January who noticed that the FoV was smaller on the pre-production version than it had been on the earlier demo. It sounds to me like something you need to be aware of, not something Microsoft needs to fix (although I'm certain it will imporve over time). Personally, if the trade-off for a wider FoV is lower resolution holograms, I'd prefer the narrower FoV.
  • I was at BUILD and was fortunate enough to be able to try HoloLens. I will say the narrow of FoV was a huge disappointment. Its the first thing you notice and its made worse by Microsoft overselling the capabilities using their demo camera rig. Its just not as immersive and can sometimes be distracting or hard to use. One example, during the demo I needed to locate an object on a virtual model. It was very difficult because you cold not intuit where it should be since it was like viewing the world through a periscope and it quickly broke the illusion. With all hat said you could see all the pieces are coming together and t was a truly amazing experience. I would honestly rather wait and have Microsoft get it right then put it out too early and risk disappointing people. At the very least they need to do a better job setting peoples expectations which means no more full field demos like they keep showing.
  • Hey Dan, I understand that it's easy for people to pass this off but when people like Paul Thurrott, Dr Pizza, Mary Jo, talk about  this limited FOV it's enough for me to want to go to a MS store and try one but not buy it.  I would emplor MS not to release it until they can do it the way they originally showed it off.  With VR filling up your entire FOV this HoloLens is going to get lost in the fray or just laughed at.  MS isn't making the FOV small on purpose it must be a contraint of the hardware or budget problem... maybe both.  The initial showing in January was nearly your entire FOV then suddenly that was lost with the latest version and was dramaticly reduced.  VR and AR are about immersion and  they both do it in substantially different ways but at this point (realizing nothing is released yet) VR is the way to go and MS HoloLens is not going to be the killer 2015 item to get.... unless they really can prove me wrong.... I'll do my best to try to keep an open mind. 
  • I think you're overestimating the fov from January. People complained about that one also. It didn't cover your entire FOV.
  • VR doesn't fill your FoV, it simply blinkers you so that you can't see anything at all in your peripheral vision. An adult's FoV is 180 degrees, even without moving your eyes in their sockets, no VR goggles come close to that. It is just that the edge of HoloLens's FoV is more obvious because you can still see your ssurroundings out to the limit of your perpheral vision, which means you notice that the wall is still there but the video screen you pinned to it is not. Personally, I'd much rather have full peripheral vision than be blinkered. BTW, it's "implore". I don't know why spell-check doesn't work in these comments but it's kind of annoying.
  • I am curious about how the fov issue plays out. I've heard some say that it wasn't that big of a deal, but I wonder how close it is to the experience that they've showed with their speical camera. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The problem is that camera lenses have an even narrower FoV than HoloLens so, whilst those video seem deceptive, there is really no way to simulate the FoV without actually making it look much worse than it really is. Maybe they could do something like show the wider camera view but outline what the user in frame can see of it? I think we will all be pleasatly surprised when the device hits the market. It's good that expectations are being lowered now because it means fewer people will be disappointed when they actually get to try it for the first time.
  • Apparently, nasuea and disorientation were major issues if they make the FoV too big.  Now in successive revisions, as we become use to this tech, then I could see that expanding substantially.
  • You know what would be cool? Seeing tht hardware isn't the limitation for the limited field of view but rather some people getting nauseated from it being too immersive [?], have an option to change the FOV on the fly! Everybody wins! Puke all you want and be immersed in your AR porn or walk around viewing your cartoons on a screen in front of you. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Doubt that's the reason. It would have to be all encompassing to cause that kind of nausea. The likely culprit is the optics and the maximum fov angle you can get from that setup where you using a waveform to get images into your pupils. Check out the hololens reddit.
  • I think a mapping app would be pretty cool.  Something where you could view it as a table map or a large wall map. The problem with viewing maps on a phone, tablet, or PC is that the field of view is too limited. With hololens you could adjust the size of the map as big as you like.
  • Indeed and the Mars thing was sort of exploring that idea.
  • That guy was cute
  • Gonna play Pokémon on this someday.
  • I doubt it as Nintendo would not allow it, but you could see Yughio, Magic, or one of the other card gaming systems show up. You could even see a Beyblade game where you could tell your Bey to do a move and see a holographic representation above it attack your opponent's hologram. Once the rotation slows down, the hologram could get weaker. There's just a lot of potential with this technology.
  • bypass Nintendo.  Set up a homebrew app that will stream your nintendo 3DS screens to the HoloLens.  I'd be perfectly fine with that as a work around.
  • Wow, I totally didn't even think of card games. This would be simply amazing for that. Card games in general too, I'd even play solitare on this thing.
  • Ah darn, I didn't make the cut for the video. :(. Maybe I looked to geeky that day... it's nice to point to a video though. I've been telling folks about it, but a video paints a better picture. I'm surprised they didn't show the final demo in the video. The last demo blows a hole in the floor and shows another world below the floor with a river, canyon, and flying paper dragons. Good fun!
  • Ooohhh!  I'm famous!  That is definitely the back of my head at 10 seconds in!  lol..... (really, it is)
  • I am staring at the drone camera @ 1 second in :D
  • I used google cardboard on my phone, and it really impressed me, that was just a cheap piece of cardboard and your phone.
    I can't begin to imagine how good this will be. Playing minecraft in VR... Walking on Mars... Editing stuff with your hands.... Future is coming! I wonder if apple will catch up or not Posted via the Windows Central App for Android on my Oneplus One
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  • Installation on one's head sounds similar to a welding helmet, minus the adjustable shield. If the release version doesn't keep the virtual screen items in their same location when the apparatus is slightly moved or as it may fall over time on one's head, future versions will likely be capable of being calibrated in association with one's eyes.
    Bring it!
  • The initial version will do that ipd calibration.
  • Where can I get one of those Cortana Hoodies? :P 
  • It's a hololens hoodie, I have one for sale ;)
  • How much?
  • Holophones or HoloCommunicators should be next.
    Should be easy to design it with a Sim Card slot...
  • Ms better PATENT ALLL of holographic computing.