E3 2015: My experience with Microsoft HoloLens

E3 2015: My experience with Microsoft HoloLens

At this year’s E3, Microsoft’s clear glasses Augmented Reality headset stole the show by showcasing what you can do with this fancy hardware and Minecraft. While we were at the E3 Expo, I had the opportunity to try the headset for myself and I must say that I am quite impressed.

Naturally, Microsoft paired this with their killer IP Halo 5: Guardians, which is scheduled to be released on Oct. 27, 2015. Specifically, they had us gamers try the new game mode from Halo 5 called Warzone which is 20 vs 20 combat with a mix of AI and players – similar to Titanfall’s gameplay. While I won’t go too much into detail about that in this article, the HoloLens was what made the experience worth noting.

Upon queuing up to play Halo 5, we had our eye measurements checked… I assume this was because the HoloLens needs to complete some calibration to an individual’s set of eyes. Once this was completed, they moved us to a very dark room filled with HoloLens headsets. The staff here proceeded to be in character as if they were representing the UNSC and prepared to show us this new technology. After I was fitted for one, I was instructed to stand up and peer down a hallway.

The feel of the Microsoft HoloLens was very comfortable. One brace went 90 degrees around my head and another brace was about 45 degrees around, tightening up below the back of my head. While the device itself was a couple pounds in weight, it wasn’t too heavy for walking around and using.

Continuing with the experience, they had us look down a hallway. Once I glanced down it, I say a waypoint from the Halo series. That odd, blue diamond of a waypoint was all too familiar and I knew what I had to do… I had to follow it. As I approached the waypoint, a symbol below it showed how many meters I was from it, very similar to what you might see in any of the latest Halo games (Especially Halo 3: ODST). Once I arrive, I turned to a room where I was confronted with a window into the UNSC Infinity’s hangar… Peering through the window myself and utilizing the technology of HoloLens, I was able to look through the window at multiple different angles. The best part about this is that the image was static and was still there. Even after I viciously shook my head and move my head in weird angles to try mess up the calibration of the device, the same image still synced up perfectly to the window size. It was quite the experience.

WarzoneInfinity

After this, we moved to a UNSC podium – like one found aboard the UNSC Infinity in Halo. Once we had all the players on the podium, a Spartan appeared on the table (See article picture) and briefed us on what we will be doing in our demo of Halo 5: Guardians. We were shown different parts of the maps, including where to find the best weapons, where AI would be respawning and what capture points our team needed to acquire. They encouraged us to move around the map to see every angle and as we moved around the podium the map stayed still, so we could see every possible angle.

The Spartan then told us that she will be our guide in contact and to take the chip located on our lower right side, which turned out to be a custom USB Drive. After I saw a red glow go through HoloLens to the red USB drive we were instructed to take it off. While I didn’t have the opportunity to experience any actual gameplay, like the Microsoft gameplay shown at their E3 Press Conference, this made me a believer in the fact that the Microsoft HoloLens is a multipurpose tool. From navigating your way through paths or hallways to seeing someone talk to you on your table is very crazy, especially while seeing a 3D image displayed on the table.

I truly to believe that seeing is believing when it comes to something like this and would highly recommend giving it a try if you ever have the opportunity.