Holographic Computing

Published 2015-11-20

Holograms are the future of computing and I think Hololens is a big stepping stone in making holographic computing a reality.

In April, Microsoft demoed a new technology called Hololens at the Build Conference. At first glance, it seems like another Google Glass augmented reality device for a niche market. Your next thought might be, "that's not for me."

After I watched the video and thought about this for awhile, I believe holographic computing will be the future of computing, and that the Hololens will be the first big step in that direction—first with enterprise consumers, and then personal holographic devices.

Why holograms?

Think back to the pre-iPhone era, circa 2007. You had all these different phones competing with different versions of snake and who could be smaller. But they were all the same—you could make phone calls, text, and play a couple games. Then the iPhone came out and all of a sudden you could view any website, and watch any youtube video, get directions using the map. It changed how you interacted with the world around you.

I think holographic computing will do something similar in 2016-2020 and change the way we interact with the world around us.

Computers and smart phones are great at a lot of things—calculations, storing data, staying connected/updated. But they are not good at instant queries. They are not fun to use when walking, running, biking, being active, etc. There are apps for working out to log your repetitions or running apps to log your miles, but these typically have you interact with the app after you are done with your activity.

Holograms offer a way to bridge this gap. Imagine you are working out and each rep is then incremented in front of your eyes. Now you don't need to count in your head. You can instead, focus purely on lifting. Similarly, you could be running and see a your current MPH and total miles. Maybe even show calories burned, etc.

Ok this isn't so different from current apps of today, it just adds a HUD. But this is a key component to usability. Users don't want to think and they certainly don't like to be looking at their phones. It's taboo, it pulls you from your environment, it makes you stop and think "What sequence of taps will give me the information I'm looking for?" Of course Siri has helped a lot in this area of hands-free computing, but the visual component is missing and holographic computing can solve that problem.

Let's see what the future holds!