MICROSOFT HAS CHANNELED its inner sci-fi buff and tweaked the Outlook and Calendar apps to work on the HoloLens augmented reality (AR) headset.
Developers with deep enough pockets to shell out for the $3,000 Developer Edition of the HoloLens will now be able to download the apps onto the headset rather than having to access the services through a web browser.
Microsoft has managed this by making use of the Windows Holographic platform, which helps form the foundations for AR apps, and the Universal Windows Platform, which enables apps to run across any device running Windows 10.
HoloLens developers can download the apps from the headset’s Windows Store, meaning its pretty easy to get your eyes on the AR-adjusted apps.
We dread the prospect of having dull emails and pestering meeting alerts in our vision with gruelling frequency, but adding Outlook and Calendar to the HoloLens proves that Microsoft sees its AR headset as something that can be used for work rather than just a fancy bit of tech to show off to friends and eventually squirrel away in an early-adopter drawer.
As it stands, the HoloLens is a pretty impressive bit of kit but still in it early days. Demos have shown how AR can be mixed with virtual reality (VR) in a pretty slick way, but it is hardly awash with apps. An AR demo of Minecraft is probably the most impressive thing available on the HoloLens.
But Microsoft’s Outlook team reckons it has more AR tricks up its sleeve and will rattle out more Office 365-based apps for the HoloLens.
“This release is just the beginning, and we’re excited about the opportunities that HoloLens presents to build new and powerful ways of staying connected, productive and on top of your schedule,” the team said.
“We are far from done innovating in mixed reality and would love to hear your feedback on how you use Outlook Mail and Calendar on HoloLens and what features you want to see next.”
So we can expect some kind of AR version of Word that lets you dictate text to a document that appears to be projected on a fireplace. But we also hope that Microsoft stays well away from Excel as nobody needs to get any more immersed in that. µ
Oh and it'll also help give aural pleasure
But it might still not be enough to make virtual reality super appealing
And a ridiculous competition
Now you can talk to your silly-looking earbuds too