News: Five Windows Holographic Mixed Reality Headsets Have Now Been Seen, but Most Have Not Been Touched

Some of the products I have been looking forward to seeing the most during CES 2017 has been the upcoming Windows Holographic virtual reality headsets. These are VR headset that will run a version of the Windows Holographic platform, which will allow users to have a similar experience as the HoloLens with a mixed reality environment. Of the six headsets that could have possibly made it to CES, five had shown up. Unfortunately, most of them are behind glass.

Video: AfterNow Makes Smart Home Lighting Change Colors with the HoloLens

These days, if you walk through Best Buy, you will see an entire area designated to smart home technology. Thanks to the interest and growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), this exciting new technology has finally entered the mainstream. Appliances, thermostats, and even the lighting throughout your house can be controlled from your computer or smartphone. You could also use artificial intelligence; Simply tell Amazon's Alexa what you want your house to do, and she will do it.

News: 3D Modeling Comes to Mixed Reality on the HoloLens with Verto Studio 3D

3D modeling is usually a very long and complicated process. Manipulating the thousands to millions of vertices, faces, and triangles to the correct shape you want is just the first part of the process, and can take a good while depending on the level of detail needed. From there, you need to texture the model by applying the UV coordinates and placing the textures in the correct places. And all of this isn't even including the process of creating normal maps.

Video: Automate a Camera's Path with the HoloLens and VroomCam

Every day the young world of mixed reality is creating new ways for people to work with with computers. We are looking for, and finding, new ways for these head-worn computers to understand what we tell them. Sometimes it is with our hands, sometimes it is where we turn our head, sometimes it is what we say. In the case highlighted below, it's where we walk.

News: Okularion—Untethered Augmented Reality at Under $300

Last week, a new Kickstarter campaign arrived for a completely untethered, augmented reality headset for under $300 called Okularion. While at first glance, this unit looks very much like a Samsung Gear VR, one thing that sets it apart (aside from being untethered from a nearby computer) is that it does not require a smartphone. Well, that and it's an augmented reality headset as well.

News: HoloSuit Proof of Concept Uses Full Body Motion to Control the HoloLens

Here at NextReality, we talk a lot about the many different ways of controlling holograms in the HoloLens and other augmented and mixed reality devices; New and creative ways are coming more and more every day. Most recently is something called the HoloSuit. In the 25-second clip below, you can see a woman moving the arm of a jacket which in turn moves a 3D model of Darth Vader on the screen. It's a simple idea with big potential.

Breaking: The Meta 2 Augmented Reality Headset Is Shipping

The Meta 2 developer kit has finally begun shipping! Gary Garcia, the senior director of customer success at Meta, just sent out an email that they are shipping out to the first round of preorder customers. Waves will be building from there, up to far higher manufacturing rates near the end of Q1 of 2017.

Video: Haptics Make Holograms Touchable on the HoloLens

Imagine wearing your HoloLens, then reaching out to touch a hologram and actually feeling it. Mind blown, right?! Now imagine that same hologram responding to your touch. I don't mean in the way holograms currently respond to an air tap, but a much more refined and precise touch. Maybe you touch a character on the shoulder and it turns around to see you, or maybe you hit a button in the air and it reacts accordingly.

News: Samsung Announces They're Entering the AR Field

This week, Dr. Sung-Hoon Hong, Vice President of Samsung Electronics, announced at the Virtual Reality Summit in San Diego that not only does Samsung have a new virtual reality headset coming, but that Samsung intends to enter the field of augmented reality, too. In fact, Hong talked very little about virtual reality and instead spoke at length about Samsung's move into augmented reality.

News: Smart Home Proof of Concept Controls an Air Conditioner with the HoloLens

Empea Berlin, a Germany-based company specializing in augmented, mixed, and virtual reality software, has released a video on Facebook showing off their experiments in smart home technology. Using a Raspberry Pi and a HoloLens unit, they were able to make a virtual remote control for an air conditioning unit. The remote is complete with various modes, temperature controls, timers, and other features.

News: Ex-Magic Leapers Confirm the Demo Video We All Thought Was Faked... Was Faked

When the "Just another day in the office at Magic Leap" video was released last year, it was called a mind-blowing, stunning, and breathtaking take on mixed reality gaming. It was a great presentation of what the technology could be, but not for a second did I think it was anything other than a concept video, and I'm not the only one who thought that. This was a goal to reach for mixed reality, not the reality.

News: Vuforia AR Starter Kit Hits the Unity Asset Store for Free

In mid-November, Vuforia officially released Vuforia 6.1, which has full support for the Microsoft HoloLens. They also released their AR Starter Kit to the Unity Asset Store, which contains scenes that show you how to use Vuforia features. While I have yet to find any confirmation, I believe it is safe to assume that the AR Starter Kit will work with the HoloLens. I already had a Vuforia tutorial planned for this week, so as soon as I know for sure, I will begin working on it.

Video: PokéLens—A HoloLens Concept Game with Project Downloads

Ready to finally play some Pokémon on your HoloLens? Here is your chance! KennyWdev has released a video showing off his newest build of PokéLens, a Pokémon clone for the HoloLens similar to Pokémon GO. In the video, you get to see two Pokémon battle it out on what appears to be an office floor. Apparently, Pikachu is "super effective." This coincidentally appeared online the same day that another developer, Sky Zhou, showed off his Smash Brothers-style Pokémon game.

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