Holographic Computing

Technology is a funny industry. We see the raising and falling of what could be great advances in technology with the vast amounts of research carried out by the most intelligent minds of this generation. Usually, that’s all it is. Just research. Microsoft is known for the research that it does but as of recently, we’ve seen these awesome ideas becoming a reality.

Take for example, Skype Translator. Microsoft didn’t just pull this out of its ‘new product department’. Skype Translator was a product of Microsoft’s Research team. Now we see a revolution in technology from the tech giant announced by their respected sectors within the company and well rounded off with a fantastic talk from Satya.

Windows 10 on all devices

We’ll start small and end big. Just how Microsoft envision the OS itself, from the smallest of phones to the largest of All-in-Ones.

Cortana on Windows 10

Cortana on Windows 10

Windows 10 is the next in major OS updates for the company. Totally skipping 9, Microsoft are planning to make a huge impact on both the enterprise and commercial world with another complete overhaul of it’s UI. While keeping with the movement of a tile based interface, we’re being introduced to new ways to interact with our devices. What came across as the key point from what I was hearing was Cortana and voice based commands.

Cortana was the personal digital assistant introduced in Windows Phone 8.1. She’s now being integrated at the core to Windows 10 providing all the information you could need with Bing providing the driving force behind it. Microsoft have not just ported her from the phone to tablet and desktop. In fact, they’ve put deep thought into how she would be used on a PC from being able to look for important documents deep within your convoluted folder organisation. She’ll also still keep track of what you like, what you do and who you really are, just how you’d expect a real personal assistant to be.

Spartan Browser In Action

Spartan Browser In Action

Microsoft didn’t just stop at integration into the OS though. Bundled with Windows 10 on all devices will be the next web browser, codenamed Project Spartan. Now if you’re into the tech industry, this seems like old news as it was leaked a few weeks ago. The new browser is in no way Internet Explorer 12. It is a clean, new, built from the ground up web browser developed by Microsoft with features no-one really expected. At the core of it is our good friend, Cortana. More and more people are moving away from typing in the web address to their favourite search engine to go off and do a search and Microsoft have used that to their advantage. As you type into the address bar your search, Cortana will do it for you. Want the latest weather? Just type ‘weather’ and you don’t have to navigate anywhere.

It wasn’t all about Windows 10 though.

Xbox on Windows 10

So technically, this is still about Windows 10 but we’re going to take a look at gaming on it. Not just any games, Xbox games.

Windows 10 & Xbox Join Forces

Windows 10 & Xbox Join Forces

Again, possibly old news to some folks but Microsoft have announced that with Windows 10, you’ll get a brand new universal Xbox app. You’ll get a fully tailored to you Xbox experience on your tablet, phone or desktop PC. It’s not just a quick go to app for checking achievements or seeing if your friends are online either. Microsoft Studios are planning to bring new games to both the Xbox and Windows meaning the PC gamers aren’t left out. It doesn’t stop there though as Microsoft also announced that you’ll be able to stream your Xbox One gaming sessions straight to Windows 10 so you can play your games on the go.

Still not impressed? Well that’s not it for gaming on Windows 10. So you’ve got an extensive game collection on Steam? Xbox on Windows 10 has you covered for that too. You’ll be able to quickly record your gameplay and upload it straight into the Xbox app to share with your friends on Live. We’ll see a whole new side to social gaming.

That’s not it though.

Microsoft HoloLens

Holo-what? Could I be talking about holograms? Of course it’s just science fiction, something like this couldn’t be possible and if it could it would be very expensive. It’s a luxury that Marty McFly enjoyed when he took a trip in the DeLorean to the future. Wait, what? That future was 2015.

Inspiration for the Microsoft HoloLens?

Inspiration for the Microsoft HoloLens?

I’m going to be serious with you now. Yes, Microsoft have announced a glasses based wearable device that takes advantage of advancements in the company’s research. Alex Kipman, well known for his dedication to the Kinect technology, took the stage for this announcement.

It’s a concept that will blow your mind and wish throwing money at your screen actually produced the goods. Microsoft HoloLens uses technology like that in Kinect to map a digital world around you in 3D. It’s like virtual reality except stepped up a notch. You know how you can get immersed in a virtual world using other products like the Oculus Rift? Well this will bring that world into the real one. What you see around you will be enhanced through virtual technology.

Welcome to the future. Microsoft HoloLens.

Welcome to the future. Microsoft HoloLens.

In your home, you’ll be projecting a digital TV up onto your wall to watch your favourite Netflix shows. You could even be redecorating your house without a lick of paint. Say you work for a design company, you’ll then be heading off to work to see your designs come to life as 3D objects. It’s like spilling out your imagination into the world around you.

This is our future. Whether the product itself succeeds or not, Microsoft are game changers and this is them inviting us into a new era of technology. Stop holding back folks, reach out and do something awesome.

Author James Croft

James is a .NET developer for Black Marble Ltd. with over 5 years app development experience in Microsoft platforms. He enjoys blogging, helping others learn to code, making YouTube videos, spending time with his girlfriend but most of all, penguins.

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