What it's like to use HoloLensBrian Tong, Nate Ralph and Nick Statt describe what the HoloLens feels like after experiencing the latest version at Microsoft's Build 2015 conference.
[MUSIC] Hey guys Brian Song here with some of my friends Nate Ralph of cnet reviews and Nick Stat of cnet news and we're here to talk about how Hollowlands. Not too many people have their hands on Hollowlands for Microsoft but we've really been able to be lucky enough to experience it. Can you kind of? Tell us what are some of those experiences that you guys had from the first gen to now what they're currently showing off. Well the first time it was like tethered to the walls where it was drawing power from. We were wearing like all of the miniature, all of the hardware that was miniaturized in the helmet we were Wear it like around their neck. Like a Darth Vader chest pouch basically? Yeah. And it was definitely not the sleek, cool helmet they were showing us on stage. Yeah and I also think the biggest difference from what we saw back in January was that these were no longer super controlled demos. Back then Microsoft had even special rooms that were mapped. To do very special things because they couldn't really have the hollow lens go free roaming around the room. This time around you had the full head set. It was fully enclosed and you could, you know, project, their holograms wherever you felt like it. I thought that was a much better demonstration, a much better approach. Cause, I mean, while the canned demos were cool, and I will talk about Playing Minecraft all day. I could do it all day. But, while those were cool, like, actually seeing how the machine works and learning more about its limitations. Cause, I mean, the demo that we walked through was, like, sort of a developers' boot camp, it was, it we saw the process of taking, like, a normal application and turning it into a HoloLens application. Like, for example, we saw it's, HoloLens uses spacial mapping to, like, like Nick said, map the room around us We flip that to wire frame mode, and we could see exactly what [UNKNOWN] sees. So you look at a table, and you can see like the wireframe meshes that's made up of it. So when you're creating objects, you can see them interacting with the surfaces you were just mapping. That was probably the coolest was the wire frame. Because I was reminded of Neo in The Matrix. Suddenly you were just seeing code everywhere. Literally turning any object it can see. Cuz it's got a Connect basically built into the front of it. Cameras. Motion sensors. The whole deal. It was turning chairs, tables, people, computer screens into wireframe objects. I just wanted to see how real, you know. One of the demos they were showing us that are really nicely rendered. They have really nice graphics. Ours was a little more raw. But they were showing off the tech. Like, could it actually work in the way that they're showing us And to me, you know, that answer was yes. I, that, I definitely thought that was the coolest part of seeing where they're at and that this is a platform that they can actually build on. It's so unclear, kind of, how they want you to use this thing. Like, is this something that's going to be near you computer at all times? Is it really gonna run Windows as a start menu? Can you just like put it on and, you know, then you're good to go? What is kind of your. Kind of your first raw overall take away from how it's progressed. It's come a long way. One of the first things I noticed, the first things I tried was the gesture tap, because you raise your hand and then you sort of tap down like that. And, and on the very first prototype I remember it being kind of a forced gesture. Sure. And I had to keep it, like pretty close. Like in a specific area, yeah. Yeah, and then, this time around, I was just kind of like, a little closer to my waist. And like off to the side. It was still picking up the gesture. At this point, it feels like the hardware is getting there. It's getting really close to being done. And the issue right now. Isn't the hardware so much as what are we actually gonna do with this thing? Well what do we really know and what don't we know? I mean there's a lot of things, but. We don't really know all that much, which is kinda problematic. We don't know pricing. We don't know availability, we don't know, we don't even know what the targeting of it, targeting of it is We don't know crucial things like battery life, which is going to be important if we're gonna be. I mean it's it's a machine that like it's powering so much and it's all contained it's not paired with a phone, it's not paired with a PC, it's not like connecting to like a console or anything. It's just on its own so how long is the battery going to last? We have no idea. Lots of crucial info that Microsoft isn't really making available and, [CROSSTALK] Yeah, Nick I mean are there any things that we kind of do know. We, yeah, we know right now that it's gonna be a, a little bit expensive. That they haven't just given us a price like next time, but somebody at Microsoft has Been quoted as saying that it's gonna be considerably more expensive than the XBox One. I think the most telling thing about the entire presentation was that in January Microsoft did this big demo with it and it was completely unclear whether this was real. Like they could have been on stage looking at nothing. [LAUGH] Walking around with this headset that didn't do a single real thing. << Yeah. Because from what we saw in the back rooms and the prototypes was that it wasn't ready. To have the full version now, looking like what it did, we now know it actually works. And that's a big, I guess that's a big step forward. Especially for developers. Thanks for hanging out with us. And we just want to let you guys know, obviously, stay tuned and locked for all the future. Coverage, these guys are gonna be doing it, CNET.com is the place to go and we'll see you guys next time.