Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) seems to be making a bet on the possibility that augmented reality (AR) can change the way humans interact with everything. Just in time for the NFL Super Bowl, the Windows Maker has rolled out a promotional video that takes the football experience beyond the TV screen; with instant replays, player stats, and displays on a coffee table.
HoloLens is a new type of computer powered by Windows 10, and according to Microsoft, it has the potential to lead the future of computing. The goggles sit on your eyes and supplement or “augment” your view of the real world by adding 2D windows and 3D images. It doesn’t need to be plugged into a power source, and does not serve as a peripheral for a mobile device either; instead, it is a standalone Windows device. Unlike the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets, which everyone is hyped up about, all processors are integrated into the device itself. While most virtual reality and AR technologies are being aimed at the gaming market, Microsoft wants to keep its HoloLens for the entertainment market.
If the National Football League and Microsoft work together, this idea can soon become a reality. The video shows a new use of Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headgear, and how it can change the way people watch football, or any other sport for that matter. Even if you’re not a big fan of the sport, this video is still worth a watch. Personally speaking, having the technology to watch replays on my coffee table in 3D is my idea of a perfect game night.
The Super Bowl starts Sunday in Silicon Valley, and Microsoft is the official technology sponsor for the NFL. This is why one can expect to see team coaches using the Surface Pro tablets this weekend. Through this sponsorship, the tech giant wants to show people how something as advanced as AR could soon become an everyday-use thing. The HoloLens offers a variety of features, including, for this particular experience, a broader view of the field, 3D replays, and stat updates on any flat surface at home.
While Microsoft has deeply invested in the technology, HoloLens has not been rolled out for consumer markets yet. Anyone who has tried the prototype will most likely tell you that the idea needs a lot of time to be executed. We’re not saying that HoloLens doesn’t work, but the immersive experience the company has shown in its promotional video is not what the device can deliver right now. In all fairness, HoloLens videos tend to oversell the real experience. Also, most uses and features shown in the video are theoretically feasible, such as watching tiny figures from your coffee table to the expanded view on a large, wall-sized screen.
Currently, Microsoft is experimenting with applications built by third-party developers; it aims to deliver the $3,000 developer edition of HoloLens to select people by the end of its third quarter of fiscal year 2016. The Windows maker is likely to get HoloLens in consumers’ hands anytime within the next five years. Tech adviser firm Digi-Capital estimates the alternative reality industry, including both AR and VR, will hit $120 billion by 2020. However, if you think you can get a HoloLens for this Super Bowl, you're probably in for a disappointment.
There must be a reason why Microsoft rolled out a video that combines HoloLens and football for the average consumer. Stay tuned for more on alternative reality products.