Beck Diefenbach / ReutersSAN FRANCISCO Reuters - When Google introduced its Google Glass smart glasses four years ago, it turned to Glass-sporting sky divers buzzing a San Francisco convention center, Glass-adorned models at a glitzy fashion show and a Twitter campaign to notify early Glass Explorers of their luck in snagging a pair.This year, when Microsoft showed off an early edition of its HoloLens augmented-reality goggles, it took the opposite approach: targeting the software developers it needs to make the device useful.But early efforts around augmented reality, including Google Glass and Microsoft s own predecessor to HoloLens called Kinect, have sputtered.Virtual reality developers, newly energized by the release of Facebook s Oculus headset, have focused on gaming, but no killer app — must-have software that motivates someone to buy a device — has yet emerged.They also played with the air tap, which controls a hologram s movements much as a mouse manipulates icons on a computer screen.Reporting by Sarah McBride; Editing by Jonathan Weber and Edward Tobin
DON T MISS: New free app and site makes watching online videos like regular TV channelsThe studio — which has teamed up with France-based Asobo Studio, an independent studio that s been developing content for the HoloLens for the last few years – will offer things like prototyping and application development services for businesses.A few days ago, a pair of VR industry veterans who formerly worked with DreamWorks Animation also launched a new VR and mixed reality company called SPACES that s already working on content for companies like Microsoft and NBCUniversal, and it s raised $3 million in initial funding led by Comcast Ventures.Motte — whose LinkedIn profile image is of him smiling and wearing a HoloLens headset — says holographic computing is going to change everything.Motte, as well as Howard, had a front row seat at Microsoft for a few tidal shifts in consumer computing behavior.During Motte s time with the company, according to his LinkedIn profile, he helped launch and manage the Age of Empires franchise and other first-party PC games; led content strategy and acquisitions of action/adventure and MMO games for the launch of the Xbox; led a global business development team responsible for first-party Xbox games; and negotiated partnerships with independent games studios and consumer brands for Microsoft Studios entertainment content exclusive to platforms like Xbox LIVE and HoloLens, among other platforms.That will result in a storyboard, visuals and technical outlines from which can be developed a proof of concept, prototype and fuller application.
GIFGiven the resurgence in the popularity of records, Disney didn t really have to do much to sell copies of The Force Awakens soundtrack now that it s finally available on vinyl, months after the film s release.But if you still need a reason to drop $50 on another copy, the records feature 3D holograms etched right onto them.As with most 2D holograms, you ll need to find just the right angle, with the perfect amount of light its creators suggest using your smartphone s LED flash for the wireframe versions of a TIE Fighter and the Millennium Falcon to leap off the vinyl.But when the effect works, it s a neat way to convince yourself this vinyl set was worth the investment, even if it sounds like John Williams totally phoned in the actual soundtrack.
Record collectors, get your wallets ready.The Star Wars: Force Awakens soundtrack will feature two 180-gram vinyl records featuring floating holograms.The mad genius behind the floating holograms is none other than Tristan Duke, the man who carved a floating holographic angel on Jack White's Lazaretto album.The carvings look like floating holograms because of a technique called abrasive holography, which is all done by hand.To view the hologram, you'll need a direct light source, like a flashlight, to shine an angled beam.The Star Wars: Force Awakens vinyl is releasing June 17 for $49.96, but you can pre-order it now.
There's no doubt that vinyl has been enjoying a wave of popularity for the last few years, especially as super special editions of artists' albums and new soundtracks.Now Star Wars is getting in on the artistic packages, with a new vinyl release of the soundtrack for The Force Awakens.But while many records use unique or exclusive artwork in the packaging, Star Wars has placed it directly on the vinyl itself, in the form of 3D holograms.They hired holographic artist Tristan Duke, known for creating similar etched artwork on the record in Jack White's Lazaretto Ultra LP.As the records spin, if you look at them from the right angle, you can see wireframe forms of the Star Wars ships floating and rotating.Buyers can expect to pay $50 when it's released on June 17th through Disney Music Emporium and Amazon.
But they dominate your perspective, which makes them less useful when switching from app to app.Flat apps become more usefulIn that vein, Microsoft has updated the way in which users will interact with apps like Edge, which now shares the unified experience with Edge on other Windows 10 platforms.If you're watching video, HoloLens will automatically hide the holobar nav bar and cursor, so as not to distract you.Microsoft s Groove Music app has also been added, for background music playing.Microsoft has a dedicated hardware clicker that you can use instead, and the update adds support for a Bluetooth mouse to navigate 2D apps more easily.With the new May update, users can more easily navigate through virtual space by using the Cortana virtual assistant and Microsoft s new commands:Looking at a hologram and rotate it by saying Face me Changing its size by saying Bigger / Smaller Moving an app by saying Hey Cortana, move App Name here."
Earlier today The Hollywood Reporter reported that the forthcoming National Museum of Comedy in Jamestown, New York would feature a performing hologram of George Carlin.Wrongly reported @juster12 There is no GC hologram in the immediate future. museum later stated in a tweet that the hologram rumours were the result of Nesteroff s misinterpretation of the plans.PRESS NOTICE-there will not be a George Carlin hologram; Kliph Nesteroff was mistaken in his interpretation of the museum exhibit experienceThe museum recently acquired Carlin s archives and will be sponsored in part by his estate, which may explain some of Nesteroff s confusion.It s unclear how he made the leap from we have all this cool stuff to let s make a dead guy play the hits in a basement until the heat death of the universe.Image: AP Photo/E Pablo Kosmicki
This means that Windows Holographic won't be limited to Microsoft's own HoloLens, and any firm will be able to access it to realize mixed reality experiences on their own hardware – mixed reality broadly speaking being the combination of virtual reality and the real world, which allows for the overlay of VR objects onto real environments.That's quite different to a purely virtual world, of course, and allows for clever tricks such as being able to see your actual physical hands as you manipulate a virtual object.All shapes and sizesIn a blog post, Microsoft said that: "Windows Holographic is coming to devices of all shapes and sizes from fully immersive virtual reality to fully untethered holographic computing."The company noted it has been talking to device manufacturers and chip firms including Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, HTC, Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, MSI and others.This is still early days of course, but it should mean the development of a good deal more pieces of hardware in the VR/mixed reality sphere.As Microsoft points out, the market for virtual reality is expected to be selling some 80 million devices per year by the close of the decade.
It would be housed in a train station remodeled as a fake comedy club in one corner and George will be onstage, performing like old times.In response to the report Carlin s daughter tweeted to say that there were no plans for such a ridiculous misuse of the late comedian s legacy in the immediate future.It s unclear how he made the leap from we have all this cool stuff to let s make a dead guy play the hits in a basement until the heat death of the universe.Conductor, among other contributions to art and society.No one should be hard-pressed to find extant media with which to remember his talents.Perhaps the best thing we can do to keep Carlin s legacy alive is simply to keep him in our thoughts, right between my ass hurts in this chair and let s fuck the waitress, as he once wryly suggested in a routine about death.
Microsoft has made its Windows Holographic VR software available to partners in a push to advance mixed reality technology.Windows Holographic platform allows developers to build not only fully immersive VR experiences but also fully untethered holographic computing.It is a mixture of VR and AR capabilities, with intelligent sensing that allows users to interact with the graphics and the graphics with the users.In its move to augment its VR market stake, Microsoft has also been in collaboration with other industry heavy weights including Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, HTC, Acer, ASUS, CyberPowerPC, Dell, Falcon Northwest, HP, iBuyPower, Lenovo and MSI.Terry Myerson, EVP of Windows and Devices Group, said: "Many of today's devices and experiences do not work with each other, provide different user interfaces, interaction models, input methods, peripherals, and content.This is because they lack the human, environmental and object understanding that is already built into Windows 10."
Microsoft is talking about some aspects of the future of computing at Computex 2016 and one of those future aspects that the software giant is focusing on is mixed reality.Mixed reality is a sort of interaction of virtual reality with the physical world to create virtual spaces and objects that users can manipulate with their hands.Microsoft also notes that most of these devices lack the ability to mix real people, objects, and environments into the virtual world they show wearers.This is where developers come in with Windows Holographic, which is coming to devices of all shapes and sizes to create immersive VR and untethered holographic computing.Microsoft has invited OEM, ODM, and hardware partners to build PCs, display, accessories, and mixed reality devices based on the Windows Holographic platform.Windows Holographic is already powering the Microsoft HoloLens and offers a holographic shell, interaction model, perception APIs and Xbox Live services.
To this, it adds a range of components designed for mixed-reality computing—things like a custom shell; human-interaction systems that integrate voice, gaze, and hand gestures; and spatial mapping to build models of the world around you—along with specific APIs to use these capabilities in software, extending the core UWP platform.Today's announcement shows Microsoft's intent to develop Windows Holographic into a broader platform still, running not just on Microsoft's own hardware, but also that of third parties.With PC-based virtual reality currently split awkwardly between the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets—a split that's enforced by DRM—an attempt to bridge the gap and unify the hardware can only be a good thing.This omission is particularly striking when it comes to the Xbox; Sony is releasing its own PlayStation VR headset later this year, and Microsoft so far has no real response.It also raises the question of whether the company will actually ship consumer-grade HoloLens hardware or leave the space entirely to third parties.The company said that it is working with Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, HTC, Acer, ASUS, CyberPowerPC, Dell, Falcon Northwest, HP, iBuyPower, Lenovo, MSI, "and many others" to build VR systems, though in the near term these are likely to be using the regular desktop version of Windows 10.
"The biggest issue with HoloLens's holographic viewing is that the field of view is limited," noted our very own News Editor Michelle Fitzsimmons in our HoloLens hands-on review."It amounts to the size of a monitor in front of you – equivalent to 15 inches," she said to illustrate what it looks like to strap on and demo the mixed reality headset.What you think you seeLast year, Microsoft acknowledged this widely echoed complaint when HoloLens project head at the time Kudo Tsunoda prepared us for the worst, saying it won't improve anytime soon."We have nothing to announce with regard to a new HoloLens today," Terry Myerson, Executive View President of Windows & Devices at Microsoft, told me at Computex 2016."But there will be partners who build products with wider field of views with Windows Holographic.By inviting developers to expand its mixed reality vision first and putting its HoloLens hardware second, Microsoft is powering the next Windows, not the next vendor-alienating Surface 2-in-1.
Earlier today The Hollywood Reporter reported that the forthcoming National Museum of Comedy in Jamestown, New York would feature a performing hologram of George Carlin.Wrongly reported @juster12 There is no GC hologram in the immediate future. museum later stated in a tweet that the hologram rumours were the result of Nesteroff s misinterpretation of the plans.PRESS NOTICE-there will not be a George Carlin hologram; Kliph Nesteroff was mistaken in his interpretation of the museum exhibit experienceThe museum recently acquired Carlin s archives and will be sponsored in part by his estate, which may explain some of Nesteroff s confusion.It s unclear how he made the leap from we have all this cool stuff to let s make a dead guy play the hits in a basement until the heat death of the universe.Image: AP Photo/E Pablo Kosmicki
HoloLens is one of Microsoft s most important new products, but it soon won t be the only holographic experience around.While current virtual reality platforms are highly isolated experiences, Microsoft s approach wants to bring people, objects, devices and headsets together under single mixed reality platform.Perhaps that s why Microsoft calls it mixed reality; it s not about simply supplement our current world with data or creating a completely artificial world – it s about the seamless integration of the virtual and the real.Oculus and Google may have gotten a head start, but Microsoft has the breadth of an ever-growing Windows 10 ecosystem behind it.It took a few years, but that approach seems to finally be paying off.Not only are Windows manufacturers like Samsung, Lenovo and HP embracing the tablet-with-a-keyboard form factor, but we re seeing it from Apple and Android devices as well.
If you re hungry for a little holographic data storage and transfer this morning have I got a flapjack for you.Their paper, which has been published in Nature, details a process involving an Argon Ion laser and a small holographic screen.They used digital holograms written to a small liquid crystal display LCD and showed that it is possible to have a hologram encoded with over 100 patterns in multiple colours.This is the highest number of patterns created and detected on such a device to date, far exceeding the previous state-of-the-art, says Forbes.Will we be shooting lasers at each other in the future?Probably not, but with a little engineering you could add this sort of fast connectivity future devices allowing for speed-of-light data transfer at some amazingly high bandwidths.
Forget FaceTime – why not say hello with a hologram?"The basic idea of using hologram technology in a smartphone is that you would be able to project a 3D image into space at a certain short distance away from the device," says Waiman Lam, VP for global marketing at ZTE Mobile Devices, who told TechRadar that holo-phones are at the pre-research stage."Technically the concept of a hologram is physically impossible, because you would need to stop a light beam at a point in space," says Karl Woolley, creative technologist at FrameStore, which is working with the super-secretive Magic Leap, a company that's working to create a 3D world by projecting images into your eye."Viewers simply download or live-stream the relevant content, place their phone in the unit and press play, and a convincing hologram appears in front of them, floating in mid-air," says Sharad Kumar, Co-founder of Virtual Presence."But with AR or MR, you could place characters from Game of Thrones into your existing environment."Credit: HoloxicaBeyond games and entertainmentHowever, the actual commercialisation of holo-phones depends on one thing.
Students from the St. Pölten University of Applied Science, in Vienna, Austria, developed the technique for a graduate project under the auspices of a time-lapse and film production company, FilmSpektakel via PetaPixel HoloPainting, which creates animated, three-dimensional holograms consisting of pure light, doesn t require computer-generated imagery.Instead, it combines light painting, stop motion, and hyperlapse in a manner that results in a 360-degree hologram.The 3D scanner is a setup involving 24 Rasperry Pi mini computers and 24 webcams.We built a giant 3D scanner out of 24 Raspberry Pi s with their webcams.After capturing the images, the dedicated staff spends hours cutting out each photo to ensure a pitch-black background for the person photographed.As a result, the hyperlapse circulates around a three-dimensional light painting, states the FilmSpektakel team.
Lumus—makers of transparent near-to-eye displays for augmented reality AR and mixed reality MR —announced this morning that they have secured $15 million in a Series B round, led by global private investment firm Shanda Group and also by Crystal-Optech, a Chinese optical imaging company.In my short conversation with Lumus CEO Ben Weinberger, he went as far as to say that for every given field of view, Lumus can show a much brighter and better image at better quality and in a smaller form-factor than any other technology.For a quick primer on field of view, check this out, but generally, unaided human eyes have a forward, horizontal field of view nearly 180 degrees 114 of which are binocular and a vertical field of view of about 135 degrees.In terms of production capacity, the company says it has already gone from producing 200-300 optical engines per month to right around 1500 per month.I first reported on this 60 degree FOV technological development at CES 2016 by sneaking a peak at a previously unseen demo of this optical engine.Additionally, while many of Lumus s existing contracts are military or mission critical projects, the company are still planning to use parts of this funding to make additional displays with a more consumer oriented angle.
View veil of mystery fell away from "mixed reality" company Magic Leap on Thursday as it announced a strategic partnership with Lucasfilm, the company behind the Star Wars franchise.And to kick that partnership off, Lucasfilm's ILMxLAB a branch of the company devoted to developing immersive content posted a stunning video demonstration of the technology at work using two of the most iconic film characters ever, Star Wars droids R2D2 and C-3PO.Then, as the two droids talk to one another, it becomes apparent that the holograms are actually being represented in correct spatial relationship to the furniture around them.Holographic R2D2 then rolls over to a real desk and looks at its surface as yet another holographic terrain map rises from the surface of the desk.The imagery makes it easy to believe the video is the result of enhanced visual effects, which is why a note that appears on the video throughout is important: "Shot directly through Magic Leap technology."Through this collaboration, ILMxLAB further propels our legacy of exploration and leadership on this new platform for experiential storytelling."