Microsoft Says Windows 10 Will Be the Last OS Upgrade You'll Ever Need

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2015-01-21 Print this article Print

Microsoft says it's expanding Windows 10 so that it moves beyond the PC and the phone into the gaming arena, where there will be Windows 10 for the Xbox gaming system.

Perhaps it was part of the development of Windows for gaming that led to what may be Microsoft's boldest technological departure for the future. Initially, Windows Holographic, Microsoft's augmented reality computing platform, looks impossible and then it looks like something you may have seen in a science fiction movie.

The idea behind Windows Holographic is to use a new product called the Microsoft HoloLens to see projected 3D images displayed in front of you as if they were really there. Some of the demos at the Microsoft event were amusing, but in reality, the potential of Windows Holographic goes far beyond fun images.

I remember the days when mechanical drawings done by hand ruled the day when it came to building nearly anything from ships to houses. One of the first important applications to run on desktop PCs was computer-aided design.

With CAD, it became possible to design an entire object, whether it was an ocean liner or a wrench, in a digital environment. This allowed designers to see when internal structures were in conflict, saving time and money in construction.

Now that it's possible to create and view a holographic display, the door is once again open to creating a physical object and interacting with it as if it were real. Even better, such a holographic projection makes it possible to see objects as if they were in front of you, even if they're not. Because of this, Windows Holographic can be used to create and preview objects that can later be used to drive 3D printers.

To make Windows Holographic work, Microsoft has designed HoloLens to look something like a set of virtual reality goggles with transparent lenses. Wearers see holographic images before their eyes as if they were real. In a sense, this is what Google Glass could have been, but wasn't. In fact, Microsoft issued an invitation to Glass developers to participate in developing applications for the HoloLens.

But to show where the future of Windows Holographic lies, one needs only to look as far as Pasadena, Calif., where NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is readying Windows Holographic to work with the Opportunity Mars Rover so that scientists can don their HoloLenses and see what it's like to walk on Mars.

The development potential for Windows Holographic could prove to be monumental and not just in space exploration. This could transform the future of exploration in every conceivable field of inquiry because the holograms need not be on a human scale. Are you ready to wander through the inside of a single cell or hold a star in your hand? Perhaps one day you can.



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