Augmented reality could change the way humans interface with everything. And Microsoft knows that, for Americans, football is everything.
The Windows company released a promotional video today that reveals its vision for how the HoloLens AR head-mounted display might expand the way people enjoy content like professional football. The Super Bowl is Sunday in Silicon Valley, and Microsoft is the National Football League’s “official technology sponsor.” That’s why you’ll see coaches and players using Microsoft Surface Pro tablets when you watch the game this weekend. And the company is trying to use that partnership to show how something as futuristic as AR will fit into people’s lives. This includes giving fans a wider view of the field, stat updates, and a three-dimensional instant-replay app that will sit on your coffee table.
While consumers cannot yet purchase a HoloLens, Microsoft, along with a number of competitors like Magic Leap and Facebook, are investing heavily in augmented and virtual reality. That’s because tech adviser Digi-Capital predicts these industries could quickly turn into a combined $120 billion market by 2020. With that kind of money up for grabs, Microsoft is working on getting to a point where it can sell its HoloLens to consumers at some point in the next half decade — and marketing like this will help it prep consumers for that product. At the same time, Facebook is charging ahead with VR and the OculusVR company it acquired in 2014 for $2B. And now, even companies like Apple and Nintendo are looking into these sectors.
For Microsoft, HoloLens is a new kind of Windows computer. It sits over your eyes, and it displays 3D images and 2D windows around your real world. The device doesn’t need to plug into a computer, and it isn’t a peripheral for your phone. It is a standalone Windows 10 platform, and unlike the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive headsets, HoloLens has all of its processors built into the plastic that wraps around your head.
But while Apple and Nintendo are glancing at the tech, and Facebook is sticking to VR, Microsoft wants people to know that it is looking ahead to bringing you a world where Russell Wilson will stand in your living room.
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