Hands on Time with Cutting Edge Tech
Raizlabs recently provided the venue for a Hololens hackathon, and I was lucky enough to be on the Raizlabs team for the hackathon.
Even with the disadvantage of having to learn a new toolchain, aside from some minor technical issues, getting code running on the device was relatively easy, and the number of built in tools were quite impressive. The standard library was solid, and there were a lot of pre-built tools for tasks specific to working in a mixed reality space.
The actual Hololens hardware was particularly interesting. After learning how to properly fit and place the unit on your head, the augmented reality projections into real space behave in a properly “realistic” manner. They seemed to move in lock-step with the real world as I moved my head, the only things that broke the illusion were that everything was slightly translucent, and the limited field of view of the projection. There’s also a lot to be said for the fact the entire system is self contained, so there’s no wires limiting your motion.
Having had a chance to spend a bit of time with Hololens, it makes me think that AR is going to require a whole new school of thought for UI design. Floating windows and a cursor that tracked your head movement worked as a UI, but it could be a lot smoother. I’d like to see eye tracking influence the cursor position, and more work to make the interface seem natural, rather than having the default window chrome look like spillover from a desktop monitor.
I’m very interested to see just where AR is going to end up going, I see a lot of potential in the first pass at the product, and am interested to see how it looks when it hits the real consumer market rather than the current developer toolkit state that it’s in now.