Microsoft’s forthcoming AR headset, HoloLens, is at the forefront of this technology. The company calls it the first holographic computer. In AR, instead of being surrounded by a virtual world, viewers see virtual objects projected on top of reality through a transparent lens.
“With a computer or tablet, we always have to look at a screen. … The technology is always in between the people. With HoloLens, the technology very quickly becomes invisible, and we have seen groups of people have very intense interactions around models that are completely digital — they aren’t really there.”
Virtual reality, like the new Facebook Oculus and HTC Vive, completely immerse you inside a computer generated world. It’s like being inside a 360-degree video game, or movie, or computer-generated simulation.
according to a report in The Information today, Google’s long-term bet is on augmented reality. The company is making not one but several follow-ups to Glass, and has a project called “Tango” that aims to outfit smartphones with computerized “eyes” that can map a 3D space.
Microsoft’s HoloLens prototype has all the innards of a computer built directly into the headset. That means no cords or even a smartphone required.
Just as VR rivals Oculus (owned by Facebook) and Google are trying to reimagine virtual experiences with their head-worn devices, Microsoft wants us to imagine a world without screens, where information merely floats in front of you.
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What you don’t want it to end up being is what a lot of experts call, you know, the ‘thousand-dollar pencil,’” said Eric Carbaugh, a faculty member with the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. “Maybe we give kids tablets or Google Glass, or whatever it might be. There’s this tech tool that you integrate into the classroom, and what you end up seeing is that those tech tools are essentially used to take notes.”