It’s No Illusion: Minecraft Hololens Really Works

It was only natural to be skeptical when you saw a 3D hologram of Minecraft being beamed onto a table, then being manipulated through touch and even sight commands. Microsoft has this tendency to promise big huge impressive technologies at E3, but then never quite follow through in the marketplace.

Now that the press has had a chance to try Minecraft Hololens for themselves, the general consensus is…..yes, it’s all true. The glasses display Minecraft on any surface you look at, be it the wall or a table, and it responds to your swipes and pokes the way a tablet screen would.

Gizmodo’s Sean Hollister said, “I simply uttered the word “3D,” and a second later the HoloLens’s voice recognition processing turned that screen stereoscopic. Suddenly, my Minecraft world had depth. It extended maybe a foot or three into the wall, like a 3D movie scene. Cool. But the words “Reality Mode” made it much cooler. All of a sudden the wall of my demo room became a window—all but literally—into the Minecraft world. I could walk up to it, peek around, and see the world awaiting me on the other side—controlling my Minecraft character in third-person as he or she walked around.”

Brian Crecente from Polygon said, “It was captivating to stand at the edge of a table and watch a diminutive square-headed figure, sharp in its precision and color, ride a minecart down a steep hill and out of my view. I was also able to pull the world up by its trees and rocky landscape, peering into the underworld of the map and then use my finger and voice to mark a target. A beam of light shone down from the sky onto the spot, making it easy for fellow gamers to see where my marker was. Once placed, the marker also created a sign, the words of which I dictated by simply speaking: ‘Dig right here.'”

Scott Sten from CNet said: “By pinching my fingers or snapping them, I could click or drag the world around forward and backward, or up and down to reveal levels and caverns underneath. I was guided how to create a pin using my voice, and dictate a voice message for a sign: “library here.” I had fun looking around, peering in. I even created a second screen that floated on a wall next to me, that I could use while playing with the giant 3D model.

“This is what mixed reality could be best: a way to throw magical models into the real world, even while using TV screens, or other displays. 3D tracking sometimes had hiccups, and I found controls to be a little rough at times. But that this worked, without wires, and using my voice as well, feels like a coup.”

Many of the reviewers admitted there were a few glitches in the programming and some found the glasses uncomfortable, but they were all satisfied with it and agreed Microsoft delivered what they promised. Will Hololens change the way we play Minecraft forever? …..Depends on how expensive it is.

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