If the HoloLens can deliver on even half of the amazing concepts it has promised us so far, then augmented reality should give virtual reality systems a run for their money.
Less bulky than an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive VR headset, the HoloLens promises to transport us into a mixed reality world where high-def digital holograms bleed seamlessly and wonderfully into the real world.
Microsoft’s latest HoloLens promo only builds on the hype. It imagines what the future of televised American Football might be like, giving the NFL the same gosh-wow treatment that it previously gave a holo-Minecraft at E3. You can see for yourself in the video below.
The highlights are obvious — 3D replays on a coffee table, a 3D hologram of the football stadium the game is being played in, plus breakout statistics and captions as the sporting action unfolds right across a living room wall, spilling beyond the confines of the TV hanging on it.
That last effect is a throwback to Microsoft’s eye-catching IllumiRoom concept. This used a Kinect for Windows camera and a projector to combine virtual and physical elements, augmenting the area around the TV screen. The HoloLens effect is just as captivating; the technology required less intrusive.
The sight of NFL players busting through walls recalls the last video we saw — Alien holograms attack in Microsoft’s mixed reality HoloLens demo. It’s easy to imagine what this might be like applied to other sports and what fun Sky would have sending a holographic Jamie Carragher into your home during Monday Night Football.
Of course, every HoloLens sneak-peek like this needs to be taken with a pinch of holographic salt. The external camera shots in the promo show the HoloLens effect at its best. We already know that the holographic field of view isn’t as immersive as VR and is currently limited to a smaller, rectangular area. You can see the limitations of the system below.
But the appeal of augmented reality isn’t destroyed by the lack of a panoramic FOV.
While there are no plans to turn this football concept into reality, it shows just what enhanced entertainment experiences HoloLens might give us when the technology launches later this year. — Dean Evans (@evansdp)