ATM on HoloLens

Written by: Rob Spierenburg and Jonathan Cohen, All Things Media

Microsoft HoloLens is finally here!  We've been hearing about this game changing Augmented Reality (AR) technology for over a year.   All Things Media's innovation team now has a few devices in house and we are already exploring what HoloLens can do.  Here's quick synopsis to get you up to speed.

For explanation purposes, Microsoft's HoloLens is a holographic computer built into a headset that allows you to see, hear and interact with holograms, video and photos in your existing environment.  HoloLens is completely wireless with a PC built into the device, and has high definition lenses, sound and spatial mapping technology to create an immersive experience unlike anything you've seen.

In simpler terms, through the HoloLens headset you are able to overlay 3D holographic images to what you see, and have the ability to move around it in a space and view it from all angles. Very impressive!

In addition you can put the focus on a fixed view (hologram, video, photos) and tour around an experience with a 360 degree view, which is much more like Virtual Reality (VR).  So HoloLens has both AR and VR elements in one device.

Taking in to account that this is a 1st generation device, HoloLens has some impressive aspects and areas for improvement.

On the negative side:

Field of View

  • The initial field of view is very limited. You can only see a small rectangular space in front of you.  For large images or videos you can only see a small portion of the image and then have to move your head in all directions to get the full degree view.


Size and Weight

  • It is pretty heavy, like a motorcycle helmet.  The size is also a drawback.  You look like you should be on a ski slope while wearing it, but they are somewhat restricted by the amount of technology that needs to be in the HoloLens device to make it work.


  • It is very expensive.  The developer kits cost $3,000, so HoloLens is cost prohibitive for wide market distribution at this point.


On the plus side:

For a 1st generation device HoloLens has enormous potential.  This is the biggest step forward in the history of Augmented Reality, and it is almost there as a realistic consumer device.

Well Designed

  • HoloLens is very comfortable to wear.  It has a soft foam insert so that it rests properly on your head.  It does not feel "plasticky" at all.  It also has a click wheel type device on the back of the HoloLens that allows you to comfortable tighten or loosen the device to different head sizes.  Plus, considering how much tech is in the HoloLens it has very good weight distribution.

Easy To Use

  • HoloLens is also very intuitive to use.  Within 5 minutes of taking it out of the box we were able begin using the device and many of its features.  HoloLens has a very good voice recognition system that uses Microsoft’s Cortana, and the pre-loaded experiences responded to both voice commands, and a series of hand gestures.  In addition, many of the experiences integrated visual cues to help guide the user.

Great Sound

  • The two speakers are positioned to create a “whisper in your ear” effect which allows you to have a great sound experience, without the sound being overhead by others around you.  The HoloLens also allows you to hear other people around you.

No Motion Sickness

  • Because you still have your field of view the movement aspects of HoloLens do not cause motion sickness like some VR experiences can.  Your brain is not tricked like in VR to feel movement while your body remains stationary.  With HoloLens images, videos and holograms are laid into your current view so your brain knows if your body is moving and helps keep your equilibrium.

What's Next?

Like most new technology the early adopters will be gamers, but we see many other early uses for HoloLens technology.  From medical and healthcare applications, things like digital imaging diagnostics, statics, biometrics are all likely targets that can make real use out of HoloLens.  We also see education, research and manufacturing as an area of early adoption.

Because of its current cost structure, we see the early HoloLens applications to be more of a tool that is used by companies to create consumer and business experiences.  Any business that can take what you see online and create a physical representation in your home or business environment will find HoloLens to be a game changing device (think design, home improvement, manufacturing).

Until the costs come down and the digital experiences are created, HoloLens is not likely to make a consumer breakthrough, but we believe that this Augmented Reality technology is truly groundbreaking in its ability to alter your experience with a digital device.  Within 5 to 10 years we feel this holographic technology will have pervaded into virtually every industry and will be an important part of our communications system, ultimately becoming as widely used as Smartphones are today.

All Things Media can't wait to dive into HoloLens and help deliver some mind-bending experiences for our clients and their customers.  Stay tuned!