HoloLens hands-on: Wearing it and using the Windows 10 Holographic UI (video)

Posted by:Ron

Hey all you WinBeta fans out there! This is Sean Ong again with another HoloLens video. This time, I’ll be diving a little deeper and taking a closer look at the HoloLens.

First of all, let’s talk about the actual hardware and comfort. I want to point out that the actual HoloLens – the experience if you will – are the tiny lenses in front of the device. Everything else you see are the sensors, the battery, the processor, and more. Basically, as technology improves and gets smaller – there’s no reason why everything else couldn’t fit into something like the frame of your glasses.

But given the state of today’s tech, the HoloLens team did a fantastic job making this device as comfortable as possible. To put it on, I basically tighten the adjustment halo around my head – supporting as much weight as possible on my head instead of my nose. I can also move the device closer or further away from my face – a great plus for those people who wear glasses. Finally, I can adjust the HoloLens up and down – making sure I can see things clearly. There are also some optional comfort accessories included for those who may need it, such as the headband and nose pieces.

So now that we’re inside the HoloLens – I wanted to walk through the UI of Windows 10 Holographic. The start screen is brought up with a bloom or flower-like gesture. Here, you’ll see all your pinned apps as well as have access to a complete listing of apps. There’s also quick access to taking photos or videos. Of course, Cortana is always listening so you can easily say something like “Hey Cortana, Go To Settings.” Inside settings, you’ll see a wide range of options for your HoloLens. Everything has a familiar Windows 10 look, keeping in line with Microsoft’s vision of a unified Windows 10 across all device types.

There are some really cool apps available for the HoloLens – including RoboRaid, a robot invasion game; HoloStudio, a holographic design studio app; Galaxy Explorer; HoloTours and more. Universal apps also can work with the HoloLens as 2D apps floating in 3D space, although I found that only a select few Universal Apps work with the HoloLens. I believe it’s up to each app’s developer to enable the universal app to work with HoloLens.

Overall, the HoloLens team did a fantastic job with the device. Motion tracking, spatial mapping, and framerate are beyond excellent. There are a few areas that could improve – such as the lack of peripheral vision, the overall size of the device, and working with USB and Bluetooth accessories. For example, I can use a Bluetooth mouse, but it conflicts with my gaze cursor. But I’m positive that this is the future of computing, and I can’t wait to see how Microsoft and others improve on this breakthrough technology.

I hope you enjoyed this video, stay tuned for more and thank you very much for watching! If you missed it, here’s my video on HoloLens as a virtual office: