We may soon be able to experience games in a more immersive way than ever before, as development engine Unity announced they will be implementing full support for the newly unveiled Microsoft HoloLens. The HoloLens was revealed at the Microsoft Build Conference this week. The technology, running on Windows 10, mimics many a science fiction movie, reflecting a hologram in front of the user which they use with hand gestures. Previews of the company’s new tech features users interacting with a desktop interface, using design software, and playing Minecraft. The holograms are self contained and appear in real space, allowing for a very new user experience.
Unity has stated that their HoloLens capability will be available on Unity Pro and Unity Personal Edition at no additional cost. The augmented tools will be compatible with all of the features of the HoloLens, including voice recognition and the ability to anchor holograms to real life objects. The HoloLens totes high definition images, so the 3D graphics developed on Unity should be fully supported. This news comes on the heels of Unity’s announced that they, along with the Unreal Development Kit and Cocos2d, will be partnering with Microsoft on the Visual Studio development engine. The development of the project is still early, but has advanced enough that it is being used in HoloLens training sessions at the Build Conference.
Early experiences with the HoloLens have been almost universally positive, with some praising its potential contribution to scientific advances in space travel. The video below was part of the HoloLens promotion, showcasing its uses in architecture design. While most of the publicity of the HoloLens has been based on practical application, the partnership with Unity will likely mean we’ll be seeing more holographic game footage. Microsoft will also be showcasing the HoloLens at E3 this year. The technology is still in very early development, and Microsoft has not announced an official release date or price, despite persistent rumors. Whether the technology will be recordable for Let’s Plays has not been addressed.