Microsoft's Hololens hasn't quite captured the online world's imagination like the Oculus Rift, but augmented reality has just as much potential as virtual reality in the right hands. With Microsoft's Hololens, it wants people to see it as much more than just an alternative to Google Glass. In a new demonstration of what it looks like to use, Microsoft highlights its potential as a teaching tool, giving medical students the chance to view human anatomy up close and personal, without having to deal with a cadaver.
Of course real world experience with a human body is often going to trump digital hologram versions, but when it comes to learning the theory of the human body, Hololens has a lot of potential. Giving students the ability to strip away layers from the body to look at various aspects, before reversing it and looking at the surface, is something that just isn't possible with real world bodies.[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKpKlh1-en0′]
Highlighted labels and information that's available at the touch of a button makes for a much more detailed learning experience than if a person was merely listening to a lecturer describe a picture. Even a 3D model on a 2D display isn't as useful, since it can only be manipulated through traditional controllers, rather than by gestures which are much more natural for humans.
This isn't something that could be applied just to medicine though, but all of the sciences. Art history is another example highlighted in the video, letting students view art work in three full dimensions rather than in books or on screens. They can analyse and study some of history's greatest pieces as they would have been seen when first created.
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KitGuru Says: As much as growing up with the internet was cool, I'm pretty jealous of the next generation of children who experience history, art and sciences through virtual and augmented reality. I think it's going to capture a lot of imaginations being able to see all of that up close.