I have been waiting to get my hands on a HoloLens for some time, and finally I have one to play with. I have been using Windows Mixed Reality since the headset launched last year but while Microsoft calls them mixed reality they are really virtual reality. HoloLens is something very different, its augmented reality where the virtual world is brought into the real world. You can place apps and Windows anywhere in your home and they appear right before you. It’s not just about the images either, HoloLens understands where layout of your environment so it can place the holograms in the correct locations in the room. It understands walls, floors, celling and furniture and can interact with them.

The biggest question I had with HoloLens was the field of view. This is how much you can actually see without moving your head, this is currently the main restriction with the technology. In the video this is one of the first things I address and while it is only restricted window I still find it very compelling.

The clever thing about HoloLens is that it remembers your rooms so you can place apps and shortcuts in your living room, office, kitchen and so on. In the living room I can setup Netflix and Twitter, in my office I have server monitors and maybe a few games in my conservatory.

The games like Roboraider and Fragments make great use of the special modelling. Robots smash through your wall and Fragments even places holograms sitting on your sofa. As well as the fun apps there are great educational apps like HoloTour and Galaxy Explorer. There are some great ways of visualising data like HoloFlight and Data Visualizer and one I like is RoomScaler which creates a virtual version of your room.

I have only just started with HoloLens and plan to do some app development with it but so far I can say that I have blown away by the technology behind HoloLens. Yes, the field of view is restricted but mixed reality is amazing. You aren’t totally shut off from the world as you are with a virtual reality headset and to me this is a key benefit. You can still use your laptop while working with HoloLens, you can interact to people around you. It interesting how well different generations can work with HoloLens, my teenage son took to it like a duck to water and I even got my Dad using it.

I will write more about HoloLens in the future but for now here is my look at HoloLens:

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