Microsoft have revealed the story behind the creation of the HoloLens, their mixed reality (MR) head-mounted display (HMD) in a new blog post which reveals a number of prototype images.
The blog post goes into great details about the process that lead to the creation of the Microsoft HoloLens including a number of qoutres from the team that worked it as well. It all started with a team of highly skilled and experienced engineers and designer from both startups and large companies in Silicon Valley, brought together to put their creativity, talent, experience and vision into a reality.
“Microsoft invests a lot of time thinking about how to empower the people who use our products,” said Scott Fullam, Senior Director of new technology integration. “A large part of the design process is drawn from both personal inspiration and what our customers need—not only today, but imagining about what the future will hold, what will make their jobs better.”
For Microsoft, the HoloLens needed to be a product that would not only allow for an MR HMD that was functional but one that would help people collaborate, communicate, create and learn. This idea runs through the core of Microsoft and it had be reflected in the design of the HoloLens. For the team, this was a new project that had never been attempted before. They needed to develop a lightweight, wearable, self-contained system that offered unique MR experiences.
“It’s no easy feat for a human to see the real world, to place holographic objects alongside real world objects, and to walk around with a headset on without feeling sick,” said Patrick Codd, lead electrical engineer on the project. “The research that went into what makes humans nauseated, how to prevent that, and how to make images look sharp was not a trivial task.”
Throughout the development process the team went through a number of different designs which would include over 100 patents just under one director’ name alone. One challenge was designing the HoloLens to be able to fit a wide range of head sizes and shapes along with taking eyewear into account. It took them months to come up with a design that put minimal pressure on sensitive veins and arteries in the human forehead and temples just to ensure prolong use was possible. This was one of numerous challenges that the team would have to overcome over the course of the development of the HoloLens.
“The culture we have is that we give everybody an opportunity to grow their skill set and their career,” Said Nagina Bhandary, director for system validation on HoloLens. “There’s a lot of investigation, trial, and error, and we encourage people to take those risks for experimentation,”
In the end of course the HoloLens project was a success and Mircosoft went on to reveal the MR HMD and make it available to developers in 2016 with a consumer release still planned. It is interesting to know that the team behind it though where given the freedom they had to overcome the challenge of meeting the requirements for the project. With an open culture and embraced trial and error along with continues developments, the HoloLens was made possible. It would of been a different story mind you had it not been for the team of highly skilled and engineers and designs that worked on it. You can read the complete blog post which details the development here.
For more on the HoloLens in the future, keep reading VRFocus.