There’s been a lot of debate as to how to label the Microsoft’s new HoloLens head-mounted display (HMD) since it’s reveal in January 2015. The device consists of a see-through lens that allows users to see and interact with holograms. This has led many to call the kit an augmented reality (AR) device, augmenting the real world with virtual objects. Microsoft itself has officially branded it as ‘mixed reality’ (MR), which combines both aspects of AR and virtual reality (VR). But is HoloLens capable full VR? Object Theory, a company dedicated to working with the kit, thinks so.
The company’s Raven Zachary explained as much in an interview with VRFocus that will be published in full later on in the week. A recent press release announcing Object Theory’s establishment claimed that the kit was capable of ‘fully virtual reality applications’. VRFocus asked Zachary how this was possible. “If you take a look at the HoloLens JPL/NASA Mars demo from Microsoft, they are projecting the surface of Mars into a room,” he said. “This is similar in some ways to VR. The HoloLens is not just about projecting a set of digital objects into an environment. It can project other environments into your own.”
The experience Zachary is referring to can be seen in the HoloLens’ initial reveal video, posted below. A user does indeed project the surface of Mars into their room and then walks around the environment, much in the way they might do with a VR HMD such as the HTC Vive. Object Theory will be working with a range of clients to create new business and other applications for HoloLens. Whether or not any of these will demonstrate the VR side of the device remains to be seen.
Check back with VRFocus later in the week for the full interview with Zachary on HoloLens and Object Theory.