HoloLens, the accelerating evolution of personal computing

This week, there was an update for the HoloLens that was announced by Microsoft. This update is simply a reflection of the best that a personal computer can offer. This technology reminds a lot of people of the early days of the computer. However, it is not like replacing typewriters, mainframe computers, and calculators as computers did. Rather this technology seems to be replacing tablets wearable computers, remote trainers, and manuals.

As far as telepresence is concerned, there has been a lot of efforts in order to make it work in conjunction with robots operated by remote cameras in the room and little rolling tablets.

Quite surprisingly, the Microsoft HoloLens could allow a mixed reality to exist in a modern workplace, making it easier for employees and managers to host remote meetings.

One startup called Spatial has been trying hard to solve the problem of video conferencing in order to make people who are away to feel as if they are present in one room along with the people in a meeting. Similarly, its aim is to make people in a room feel as if the remote person is also present at the meeting along with them. For this, the use of AR goggles was preferred. In this case, both the remote people and the local people wear AR glasses as a result of which they can see each other as avatars in a room. These avatars happen to be photorealistic, of course.

But as the capacity of processing increases with the increase in the network capacity, these glasses will have to shrink in their size.

It is quite interesting that these avatars happen to have no legs or the lower body as a result of which they do not look any less than a genie. However, these appearances can be improved in the future.

Let us also talk a little about telepresence. In conjunction with the room cameras, telepresence has been more like an effort that has not been particularly successful. However, using a camera on a headset along with its rendering capabilities not only makes it possible for a remote person to see what the local person sees, but it makes them feel like they are present in the locality along with them. This is the entire concept of telepresence, and it seems to have plenty of great implications.

For instance, consider a person who is trapped inside a building in a fire. It would not be effective to have a map or a voice guidance in this case. In cases like these, telepresence can provide a lot of hope to survivors and can be used to guide them through difficult situations.

In the future, it is expected that one may not be able to differentiate between a real and a virtual person in the room. Indeed, this will have a very broad level of implications and it may change the way people connect with each other in their lives. Indeed, we are at the edge of something new and exciting.

Phani Kumar S Phani Kumar S on January 8, 2019

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