Microsoft’s HoloLens turned a year old in March 2017 and the company decided to mark the occasion by announcing that it had released 150 apps for the device so far. Although the headset is still aimed mainly at developers (although general consumers can buy it for $3,000), the app store is currently buzzing with options ready for when the mixed reality device becomes mainstream.
Now, as the headset starts to make its way into the commercial realm, people are starting to consider the potential applications of the self-contained holographic computer. Indeed, with Windows 10 now supporting HoloLens’ ability to create 3D models, things are starting to take shape.
Everything from gaming to architecture could be given a new lease of life courtesy of Microsoft’s product. Today, if you scroll through the HoloLens homepage, you’ll see the following options and more:
HoloEngine – Learn how to understand and build complex 3D structures by tinkering with mixed reality engines.
Ball Pit – Experience Spatial Mapping and Spatial Sound by creating a virtual ball pit in any environment.
HoloAnatomy – Take a virtual tour of the Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic HoloAnatomy course.
HoloLens Could Bring a New Dimension to Gaming
In just this small selection of Microsoft’s current list of HoloLens apps, we can already see the possibilities. One industry that will certainly embrace mixed reality is the online gaming world. Puzzle games are clearly the obvious option. With the ability to move objects around a room, you could easily recreate tactical puzzle games such as 2D Boy’s World of Goo or Monument Valley.
However, this ability to move virtual objects around a real room could be taken a few steps further. For instance, what about building a virtual casino at home? Microsoft has already dipped its toes into the casino waters with a mobile roulette game, so why not something for HoloLens?
Indeed, roulette has a long history of appearing in various mediums. From La Roulette in the 18th century and its wooden wheel to its place in movies and, today, its virtual form inside the online casino world, roulette is popular however it’s presented.
What about other classic games such as chess? Like roulette, this game has a long tradition and has the power to be flexible. Moreover, chess is also like a puzzle game where moving pieces are integral to the overall dynamic. This, again, fits nicely with the HoloLens vibe and, moreover, would bring a new dimension to the game itself.
Finally, what about shoot ’em ups? As we know, HoloLens is all about combining real world settings and objects with virtual scenarios. With this being the case, you could effectively turn your room into a battle zone. The chair could become a base, under your bed could be a bunker.
Basically, anything in the room could become a prop in the game. In fact, this is dynamic is already something you’ll see taking shape when you check out Microsoft’s RoboRaid. Like Taito’s Space Invaders on steroids, this game allows you to shoot, evade, and use x-ray powers to defeat the attacking aliens.
Toys and Entertainment Could Take on a New Form
Beyond the expansion of the online gaming world, there’s a chance HoloLens could be used to give “toys of the future” a new dimension. For example, in our recent look at the toys children will be playing with in a few years, Galaxy Zega Battle Tanks were one of our top picks.
Essentially mini tanks that can be controlled via your iOS or Android device, these toys combine the real and virtual worlds perfectly, which is why HoloLens could be perfect.
Just imagine being able to construct a battlefield using HoloLens and then link this to your tanks. If this was possible, the options you’d have would be virtually endless because you could build and rebuild a battle field in new ways and with new locations whenever you want.
This fusion between the real world, the mobile world, and the holographic world would create a deeper level of immersion and, therefore, more entertainment.
Finally, what about apps that help you learn a new skill? We’ve already got the engineering and physiology bases covered but what about the entertainment arena. As we’ve shown, technology is always improving the music industry and the things DJs can do with music so why can’t HoloLens join the party? If an aspiring DJ couldn’t quite afford the Numark controller or the latest digital mixer from Pioneer, a HoloLens could be the perfect alternative.
Indeed, as HoloEngine has already shown, the device is capable of intricate detail and this could be applied to the DJ world. Players could adjust dozens of knobs and buttons in order to get a feel for a real DJ set-up.
Taking this further, music could be introduced so the user would hear the result of their movements. Put simply, the options for HoloLens could be almost limitless. Although we’ve only put forward a few ideas, there’s plenty of scope for more in the future and it will be exciting to see where this technology takes us.