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Exploring Virtual Reality

As a research assistant for the ISOM department at my university, I get access to some cool new(ish) tech - the latest being the windows mixed reality platform.

We’re currently working on researching the applications of mixed reality in education and learning, so I’m having a bit of an explore with the technology. I’m trying my best to avoid the gaming aspect for now.

Here’s just a short video that I posted on twitter of me exploring:

The space I was in above is called the ‘cliff house’, which is the microsoft translation of the desktop in the virtual world. I personally prefer the Skyloft, pictured below.

the skyloft

I couldn’t show the start menu (because it would have stopped recording), but it was a panel that pops-up and follows you as you turn your head. It felt like a bit of a cop-out, given that everything should really be a re-imagining of the metaphors of computing, rather than just a translation.

You can also see this in how they setup the panelling for universal windows apps below. Because microsoft is going for broad compatability, they are forcing themselves to directly translate the desktop experience to the virtual world - which gives you a panel on a wall. App developers would have to implement their own holograms and virtual spaces for it to be a re-imagining of a workflow, which would of course prevent multi-tasking. Maybe it will be a good thing.

a mixed reality workstation

Author

Matt Crook

Futurist, technologist, and student at Auckland Uni