This Microsoft HoloLens Minecraft Demo Is Nuts

Microsoft’s new augmented reality technology, HoloLens, made quite a splash at E3 2015. The onstage demo, which used Minecraft (owned by Microsoft) as its subject, looked impeccable and brought the popular building game to life. Literally.

To show the crowd how the HoloLens works, the cameraman attached one to his lens while Saxs Persson, from Microsoft Studios, played the game. At first, Minecraft was projected on to a virtual TV screen surface. Pretty simple and straightforward, as far as augmented reality goes. But then, everyone’s jaw hit the floor.

Persson, with his HoloLens firmly strapped on his head, studied a flat display table on the stage and said two words: “create world.” The game then jumped from the TV screen to the table in front of him and became a 3D Minecraft world. It looked like Legoland magically appeared on the table, and the whole crowd gasped.

The demo wasn’t impressive just because it went from a TV to a table (although that was pretty insane). The amount of control Persson had over the game with only his voice and hand gestures was mind-blowing. As he pinched and zoomed, the Minecraft world would expand out or zoom in to see the inside of buildings. He raised the entire structure with his voice, displaying the world beneath the surface. He even spun the 3D world around with his finger.

It’s not clear how many games will work well with HoloLens right now. Minecraft, and any other building or crafting-type games, seem to be the new technology’s best bet. Whereas virtual reality brings you somewhere else, augmented reality brings something real to you. This is why the demonstration worked so perfectly with a game like Minecraft, which is essentially Legos 2.0.

We’re also not sure of the HoloLens’ release date, or how much it will cost, even. This demo at E3 2015 was a huge step in the right direction for HoloLens, though. Hopefully we get more information soon so we can start building.

 

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