Microsoft’s Alex Kipman Demos HoloLens at TED


A video and transcript of a TED appearance by HoloLens inventor Alex Kipman is now available, providing a peek at what Microsoft sees as the future of this technology. Which is nothing less than the freeing ourselves from what he calls “the 2D confines of traditional computing.”

“Today, we spend most of our time tapping and looking at screens,” he says. “What happened to interacting with each other? I don’t know about you, but I feel limited inside this 2D world of monitors and pixels. And it is this very limitation and my desire to connect with people that inspires me as a creator. Put simply: I want to create a new reality, a reality where technology brings us infinitely closer to each other, a reality where people, not devices, are the center of everything.”

The release of the TED talk was timed to coincide with the shipment of the first HoloLens developer kits, which started heading to lucky recipients this week. But the video itself isn’t aimed at developers, of course, but rather at the normal people who will one day take advantage of this and future technologies that help us break the confines of today’s 2D computing world.

Kipman refers to HoloLens as “the first fully untethered holographic computer”—Microsoft is really hung up on the untethered bit—and while it’s it’s only going to get better in the future, give Kipman some credit for focusing on the present.

“We are already seeing car companies like Volvo designing cars differently with HoloLens; universities like Case Western redefining the way medical students learn; and my personal favorite, NASA is using HoloLens to let scientists explore planets holographically,” he says.

Microsoft's Alex Kipman Demos HoloLens at TED

If you’ve paid close attention to HoloLens since its initial announcement 15 months ago, as I have, there isn’t much new to the TED demo, which as usual provides a lot more hologram detail on-stage than you actually see with the device itself. But for those who are not totally up on this product line—i.e. most people—I suspect the demo will be a bit of a revelation.

Definitely worth watching either way.


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