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  1. #1

    How Microsoft's HoloLens Coud Change 3D Modelling and Printing for Good

    Microsoft yesterday announced what appears to be one of the most remarkable holographic headsets to ever come about (Not that many have come about). Called the HoloLens, this set headset features it's own on-board graphics card and CPU and allows its user to manipulate 3D objects within an augmented reality space. Even executives at Microsoft stated that it is a "print preview for 3D". Further details on the HoloLens can be found here: http://3dprint.com/39000/microsoft-hololens-3d-print

    What are your thoughts on this new product which will be available to developers this Spring? Will this change the way people interact with 3D models and design? Below is a picture of the headset as well as an object designed on the interface and then printed out:


  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    well it looks like a fancy bit of kit.

    But personally I want my 3d unencumbered by headsets.

    Some years back I had the first 3d setup for pc's. It was brilliant. Used the standard lcd glasses and you needed a seriously good crt monitor (this was before flatscreen monitors) but it worked fantastically. Every game or program that used 3d worked.
    And then flatscreens came in and nvidia bought the company and 3d disappeared from pc's for 10 years or so until the lcd screens could match the refresh rate of the old crt's.

    I also, even further back saw a glasses free 3d screen being demonstrated at a games fair in london (I was chief - read 'only' reviewer and reporter for the Atari Lynx magazine, right at the time that atari was freefalling into obscurity) the glassses free screen blew me away.
    Okay at the time it was powered by two laptops using synchronised cdrom drives. But the sheer fact that you could get 3d without cumbersome kit was revolutionary.

    Move on 20 years and I own a nintendo 3ds. A handheld games console with an excellent 3d screen and no other kit needed.
    Okay nintendo seem intent on treating it like a gimmicked ds, so the number of decent games is few and far between - but the good ones, you play like you're looking through a small window at a very large world. I don't see playing games in 2d ever appealing to me again.

    So personally I don't see the future of 3d in a headset, or glasses based system. It has to be in developing better and cheaper lenticular style screens with built in sensors for the 3d manipulation.

    There's a scene in avatar where people are in the mining office. The scene is in 3d and so is every pad and screen in view - probably the best 3d scene I'v ever seen, just blew me away. And that's how things will go, better screens, better movement sensors - not clumsy headsets or synchronised glasses.
    Just seamless working 3d without any obvious mechanisms.

    It used to be you thought holographics and laser projections - like in the movies. But if you can perceive 3d from a lenticular style screen then you don't need the technically vastly harder, projected 3d of a holotank.

    Flat 3d screens are cheaper, just as effective and way easier to make and use a lot less power.

    headsets are just shortlived gimmicks.

    lol - to answer the actual question - no I don't see it being useful in home user 3d printing. In industrial situations where you're generally dealing with far more complicated models, yeah maybe.
    But headsets are just a short step on the road to a better lenticular style screen.
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 01-22-2015 at 07:11 AM.

  3. #3
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    This should get me shot down.

    I find that my brain gets enough input to keep me entertained from a black and white 625 line 4:3 input. Any more than that does not increase the entertainment value that I am watching. HD, 4k, 3d all seem to be unnecessary to me.

    Same applies to music. If I want to listen to music that I like then I just turn it on in my head, no need for a fancy box of electronics and wires to produce "life like" reproduction.

  4. #4
    In the 3D design space we can expect a lively battle between the Emperor Microsoft and the smaller yet more spirited King Autodesk. Any bets?

  5. #5
    Senior Engineer
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    Allow me to correct you

    Quote Originally Posted by magnumgrp1 View Post
    In the 3D design space we can expect a lively battle between the
    Tyrant
    Microsoft and the smaller yet more spirited King Autodesk. Any bets?

  6. #6
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    Microsoft is less a tyrant and more a diva who is in that self destructive phase where even the ones who hate them just can't stop watching.

    EDIT:
    Back on the topic, this is a very fancy looking costume piece with pretty sales videos and after effects until I see an actual reviewer from a non-Microsoft employee. Also, stereographic headsets are not holograms. Projections on plexiglass aren't holograms. CG video editing on CNN definitely aren't holograms. Half the people who are gaga for holograms have never even seen an actual hologram.

    It's sad because actual holography is a fun (though expensive and sometimes nerve-wracking) hobby.
    Last edited by Feign; 01-22-2015 at 10:09 AM.

  7. #7
    Technologist bford903's Avatar
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    I agree that this probably wont be all that useful to people with 3D printers. I see this as more of a stepping stone to something better in the near future. With all the work going on with this Hololens, Oculus Rift, and Google Glass, there's some potential for something truly cool.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mjolinor View Post
    This should get me shot down.
    Bang Bang.

  8. #8
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    After looking at some more in-depth reviews of the "dev kit" (aka very early prototype) it looks like the HoloLens uses the NVidia Light Field Display technology, with a reflector similar to the Google Glass to make the images appear transparent. It's clever, and I'll concede, the Light Field Display is technically a kind of very limited-FoV hologram... However, the Light Field requires an actual resolution between 9 and 16 times as fine as the apparent resolution the eye sees, making it terribly inefficient.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mjolinor View Post
    I find that my brain gets enough input to keep me entertained from a black and white 625 line 4:3 input. Any more than that does not increase the entertainment value that I am watching.
    There is actually a psychological condition called "consummatory anhedonia" that is often (but not always) linked with depression. Where a person simply cannot get pleasure from sensory stimuli. (though feelings of accomplishment, goal setting, social interaction, etc. are still present. if there isn't any depression associated with it, it's not even necessarily considered a problem.) I'm not saying that you have it, but you might want to look into it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feign View Post
    After looking at some more in-depth reviews of the "dev kit" (aka very early prototype) it looks like the HoloLens uses the NVidia Light Field Display technology, with a reflector similar to the Google Glass to make the images appear transparent. It's clever, and I'll concede, the Light Field Display is technically a kind of very limited-FoV hologram... However, the Light Field requires an actual resolution between 9 and 16 times as fine as the apparent resolution the eye sees, making it terribly inefficient.


    There is actually a psychological condition called "consummatory anhedonia" that is often (but not always) linked with depression. Where a person simply cannot get pleasure from sensory stimuli. (though feelings of accomplishment, goal setting, social interaction, etc. are still present. if there isn't any depression associated with it, it's not even necessarily considered a problem.) I'm not saying that you have it, but you might want to look into it.
    I get pleasure from it, what I said was I get enough input from a B&W 4:3. Probably because I read a lot my imagination still works.

  10. #10
    Having desperately added $8500 haptic arm Freeform software to escape NURBS and T-Spline constant limiting "microsurgery" during modeling, only to find the software itself being overly pretty on top of alpha and beta actual functionality and smoothness, this is actually rather exciting to me. I find actual haptic feedback to be a bit of a hassle, whereas the real problem is SEEING the damn thing in full 3D which I can't easily do without constant view changes. Bizarrely, the haptic arm comes with two buttons but only one is accessible in the software! I must use a key shortcut to activate simply rotating the damn view! That's crazy. But that's the nature of very expensive niche software made by a single small company. Too many passive-aggressive people both in the development team and among the users who WANT the thing to be too hard to use by normal people, so they can keep their jobs as experts in software kludges and workarounds. The mere ability to touch the surface at a point and drag it in any 3D direction with your real finger would be a great advance. I merely then need a brush size or soft/hard setting to control the local effect. When dozens of small companies can start competing for the best software product based on this hardware, life will vastly improve for 3D designers.

    These can indeed be considered holograms in that if you ignore the hardware being on your head, they act just like real holograms as you move around them.

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