Outlook for Hololens
We’ve all heard the buzz about Microsoft Hololens and its many competitors in the Augmented Reality (AR) headset market. A line-up of multinationals are involved, with AR devices in various stages of development. Everyone’s vying to create and market the most beautiful and usable AR headset: Sony, Epson, Google, Vuzix and more. But there’s one thing they’re missing: how can any self respecting, new-age workaholic fit AR into their day-to-day lives?
This is where Microsoft Hololens stands out. Microsoft is unafraid to admit that there’s a world of workaholics out there who love fresh tech offerings. Outlook for Hololens proves that you can exist within augmented reality AND be productive at the same time, assuming you only need to read your emails not act upon them.
How does it look?
Good question, since it’s all about the eyes with this cool tech. Unfortunately, despite such awesome potential, the result is a little disappointing. Outlook for Hololens doesn’t appear particularly different from what you’d expect on any Microsoft device: it’s essentially an inbox and calendar filling your field of vision (although I guess complete email immersion is one way to get yourself doing uninterrupted work…). You also likely won’t be able to see your whole inbox at once without moving your eyes, due to the nature of the hardware.
So why didn’t Microsoft get it’s innovation on? The reality is that Hololens is running the ‘Windows Holographic’ operating system, which is part of the Windows 10 platform. This means that it’s basically just another Windows 10 device. The Outlook app can be downloaded to Hololens through the Microsoft app store. The result: Your inbox with minimal flashy extras.
That being said, Microsoft has included a few changes to cater for augmented reality. There is a holographic version of Seattle, superimposed at the bottom of your field of vision for that big city feel while you’re checking your emails. Your inbox can also be attached to a point in space (such as a blank wall) so that you only see it when you look at that particular space. This allows it to work alongside other features in your augmented reality landscape.
How can I get my hands on it?
If you’re one of the lucky developers who already has a Hololens, you can go ahead and download Outlook from the Windows Store on Hololens right now. If you don’t have Hololens, but you’re a developer with $3000USD in your pocket, developers can apply here. If you’re one of the common folk, clamouring for a bit of new tech, you might as well take a seat and sign up for their newsletter here.
Let us know if you’ve had the chance to try out Hololens, and Outlook for Hololens, in the comments below.