The 5 Best Innovations of January 2015

by Freddie Laker

The 5 Best Innovations of January 2015 by Freddie Laker Special thanks to Freddie Laker for sending this article from his news blog Take Me To Your Leader! Freddie writes :
      It's fun to get back into the swing of things with Take Me To Your Leader. Our post covering the Best of CES 2015 covered everything from intelligent miniaturized robots that teach kids to program, to home security systems that recognize family members via facial recognition.

But that was nearly a month ago. By definition, the world of innovation keeps on moving, as yesterday's innovation turns into today's reality and then becomes tomorrow's history. So what has been new, exciting and innovative in technology during January 2015?

Microsoft Augmented Reality: HoloLens

Microsoft's boffins* have been feverishly working in secret to produce what they hope to be a new game-changer - their hologram headset the HoloLens. Actually it technically isn't a hologram, it's an augmented reality system, or as they prefer to put it a "mixed reality experience". This is the brainchild of Alex Kipman, whose first inspiration for Microsoft resulted in the Xbox Kinect. This is at a whole different level again, though.


So far only a few select journalists have been privy to Project Baraboo, or B for short. It's not quite ready for the world to see - but it's not too far away.

So what is the HoloLens? At the moment the unit is in two parts, the mechanics hang around your neck, and the visual part itself is a decidedly fragile headpiece. The production model will have everything in one (hopefully sturdy) headpiece.

You put the headpiece on and you instantly see a semi-transparent rectangle floating mid-air in front of you. Being a Microsoft product, there is inevitably a Windows logo on it. At this point there are many choices as to what you do - the demonstrators choose the story at the moment, but presumably you'll have a choice of path to follow when you're using it in the real world.

Journalists at Polygon and Wired were able to experience the technology first hand. Some of the situations they were allowed to experience included walking on Mars learning about rock samples, electrical wiring in a room (helped by being able to "see" an instructor and diagrams he drew on the wall by a lightswitch), creating a 3D product, and inevitably playing an immersive game.

It seems clear that the HoloLens is about to become very real. This is not just marketing. The HoloLens isn't virtual reality, and its augmented reality style approach seems to lend itself to more functional uses.

Being delivered by Microsoft gives the opportunity for this to be produced on a huge scale and there is likely to be integration into a number of productivity products that are used by significant numbers of businesses, students, and general consumers. Its connections to the Windows gaming world and the Xbox One give it a huge reach in the gaming market which has proven to be an important factor in device adoption in the last ten years.

HoloLens has the potential to be transformational technology in the way that we interact with computers. We moved past the click generation to the touch generation of computing, and now we're exploring territories that remove the barrier between humans and computers - ultimately creating more personal and intimate experiences.

GO Continue reading this full article : 5 Best Innovations of January 2015

Freddie LakerSpecial thanks to Freddie Laker for sending this article from his news blog Take Me To Your Leader!
      Take Me To Your Leader (TMTYL) is a newsletter focusing on innovations, ranging from the personal to the profound, that are changing the human experience. Read about their relaunch and learn about the new direction and why the site is called Take Me To Your Leader. Plantation, FL 33324 USA

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