Since Microsoft initially showed off its new augmented reality headset HoloLens in January of 2015, the company has been doing an intricate dance of tempering expectations while drumming up developer excitement for the platform. Thanks in part to some cleverly crafted promotional videos, some people have settled on the idea of HoloLens primarily being a tool for the education, industrial engineering, and medical sectors. However, Microsoft recently tossed its new NFL-inspired vision for HoloLens out in the public, and it may be the most involved concept for HoloLens to date.
In a post written by the corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Windows and Devices group, Yusuf Mehdi walks briefly discusses the more practical uses Microsoft’s HoloLens could enable future fans, players, stadium and team owners to experience in the future.
With HoloLens, running Windows 10, your favorite players could be brought to life through high-definition, 3D displays – allowing you to experience the athleticism and skills behind their stats. That game-changing play could pop up as a 3D hologram so you could view the field from all angles, all while your fantasy scores update in real-time, without the need for you to look down at another screen.”
With HoloLens being primarily a visual experience, Mehdi’s post is accompanied by a rather elaborate 2-minute display of what types of experiences developers can create with the headset using the power of Windows 10 and partnerships with the NFL.
Based on the video, Microsoft envisions utilizing the technology behind augmented reality, HoloLens owners can experience extended screen viewing that incorporates real-time stats and stadium-like seating, as well as bringing up 3-dimensional instant replays on any flat surface.
While the video shows the use case for fans of watching the NFL, a couple of key takeaways hint towards a potential gaming and social aspect of HoloLens that hasn’t been fully covered yet by the media. Primarily, the idea of multiple people using HoloLens simultaneously in the same environment. Unlike virtual reality which confines the user to traditionally isolated environment, Microsoft’s push into AR allows users to see and interact with the world around them while also engaging in a separate environment, similar to playing video games with friends.
Another item displayed during the video is the use of game-like graphics to display athlete info and stadium specs. It’ll only be a hop-skip-and-a-jump to see these examples incorporated into a newer version of the popular Madden football series.
Microsoft and developers still have a long road ahead of them to make these concepts even remotely realistic, but marketing the HoloLens using the beloved sport of professional American football is an excellent way to get the mass market intrigued in augmented reality.