After a long wait, Microsoft Surface Hub is shipping — just in time for Microsoft Research to demo even cooler technology that lets you collaborate with people around the world as if you were in the same room. The new demo of the HoloLens technology dubbed Holoportation looks incredibly cool.
The usual caveats apply:
- This is Microsoft Research, not a commercial product you can currently pay money for.
- This is a carefully prepared demonstration video, not a live drill.
- Augmented reality always seems to demo better than it works in the real world.
Still, I found the demonstration really impressive: In it, the presenter manages to "beam in" participants from other, similar situated rooms. Cameras all around the room are used to "stitch" together a real-time 3D view of what's going on, which is overlayed using HoloLens.
And watch to the end: To me, one of the coolest parts is not the real-time interactions, but also the ability to replay interactions you've had in the past. Imagine home movies of your child's first steps, but where you can actually be there in the room. The business applications are also fascinating: Giving a chance to do training replays that let students watch, first hand, expert mechanics or surgeons practice their craft, or do "in person" conferences from around the globe.
Like I said, major caveats apply, but it looks like Microsoft has made solid progress in making that a reality. Watch the video below, and let us know your thoughts on whether Holoportation could help you rethink parts of your business.