Microsoft demonstrated just how far they’ve come with their augmented reality HoloLens project – and it’s far. Virtual browsers on your wall, virtual dogs, the weather in your cup, holograms following you to the kitchen… all that and many more were showcased by Microsoft at the Build Conference.

I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t know we have this technology. It’s all a matter of slimming this tech down and making it more fashionable, and it’s basically good to go! Of course, Microsoft didn’t work alone on this project – for every moving hologram or dynamic app there’s some work done by someone from NASA, Autodesk, Sketchfab, and more. But these are the organizations that will also gain something from this technology – after all, having holograms and all that is cool, but it can be extremely useful as well, and it will be up to them to find and design new uses for it. I’m not sure exactly what NASA has in mind, but I can imagine that operating things on holograms on the ISS would save a lot of trouble.

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But perhaps the field which will benefit the most is medicine.

“The mixed reality of the HoloLens has the potential to revolutionize [medical] education by bringing 3D content into the real world,” said CWRU’s Mark Griswold from the BUILD stage, before demonstrating how, “using holograms we can easily separate and focus in on individual systems.” The result is like having access to every facet of the famed Bodies exhibition at once, directly in front of you, any one aspect of which you can examine more closely before retreating back to surface level.

Just imagine – animating blood flow through veins, zooming in and out as you desire… the applications are endless. If medicine’s not your thing, think about the engineering, design, 3D printing, plane flight… I know I’m repeating myself, but the applications are endless. I’m just bamboozled that this technology is available today.

How much would something like this cost? How would you even design apps for it? I have no idea. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.