In 2015, Microsoft introduced HoloLens and Windows Mixed Reality (previously called Windows Holographic), the company's wearable Windows 10 computer and holographic platform that powers it.
HoloLens creator Alex Kipman introduced the device's ability to overlay holograms onto the real world in the wearer's field of view. This mix of digital content and the physical world, called augmented reality (AR), represents one extreme of the mixed reality continuum.
Virtual Reality (VR) is the other extreme where users are immersed in a virtual environment which completely excludes the real world. Windows Mixed Reality, as part of Window 10, is designed to power both of these experiences on first- and third-party AR and VR headsets.
"(AR and VR) are just labels for different points on the mixed reality continuum." - Alex Kipman.
Kipman shared that because Windows Mixed Reality APIs are part of Windows 10, developers can make Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps that work on HoloLens as well as other Windows 10 devices. Microsoft's vision to become the industry's leader for holographic computing by providing the platform for developers and device makers was obvious even then.
Microsoft's industry-leading position and goal to bring holographic computing to the masses is old news to tech enthusiasts. The problem, however, is that that news hasn't yet become news to regular consumers. This lack of mindshare is ironic given that Microsoft intentionally made Windows 10, which now has over 500 million users, the platform for mixed reality. Sadly, the 3D and mixed reality capabilities integrated within millions of PCs remain unknown to most consumers. Meanwhile, rivals are grabbing consumer attention with their AR and VR alternatives.
Full story from the WindowsCentral blog...