If you want to take your Skype experience to the next level, putting in holograms when you talk to friends, family or anyone else then Microsoft’s mixed realty (MR) head-mounted display (HMD) might be just what you’re after. So long as you’ve got a spare $3000 USD, live in the US or Canada, and happen to be a software developer. VRFocus reported back January 2015 Microsoft’s messaging service would be coming to the HMD, and the company has quietly added the plugin into Skype for anyone to download.
Found in the drop down menu under ‘Tools’, users will see ‘Install HoloLens Add-in…’ listed. From here a separate window will then appear with the following: “If you’re making or receiving calls to a HoloLens, for the best experience you can install an Add-in for Skype that allows you to point, ink and add holograms to your calls. You’ll need to hang up and redial any existing calls.”
While this looks like a soft rollout for developers who’ve purchased a HoloLens device, the fact that its available for anyone to download could well point to a wider expansion for the HMD in the near future. HoloLens still isn’t available to purchase for developers based outside of the North American continent, one of the few that has got their hands on one is Asobo Studios based-in France.
Asobo Studios created Fragments, Young Conker and HoloTour, each experimenting with the unique way users can interact with holograms in the real-world. All three projects launched alongside the HoloLens on 30th March this year.
For consumers it’s going to be an even longer wait as Microsoft has previously stated that the HMD will be aimed at businesses first before a wider public launch happens. Microsoft is still staying quiet on when that is likely to happen, but keep reading VRFocus for all the latest news on MR.