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Microsoft just blew everyone away with 'Project X-Ray'

Microsoft just blew everyone away with 'Project X-Ray'
PHOTO COURTESY OF MICROSOFT

Exciting news from the world of virtual reality. The next generation of technology will be one where NASA scientists, architects, gamers and everyday people can step into an augmented reality where they can see and manipulate a virtual 3-D world like it's really in front of them.

Just think about the possibilities. What if an astronaut was stranded on Mars and needed help to build a shelter? With holographic computing software, or augmented reality, a team of NASA scientists on Earth could see the tools and equipment the astronaut has in front of him, even millions of miles away, to come up with a solution. But what about closer to home?

Imagine an architect wants to change the design of a house that's under construction. Instead of tweaking 2-D CAD drawings or fiddling with an on-screen 3-D model, augmented reality can give them a 3-D view of the building right on the desk in front of them. They can manipulate pieces or replace them completely in seconds.

That's not science fiction. It's reality, and it's happening now thanks to Microsoft's HoloLens technology that we've been telling you about for months.

Microsoft has been working in near secrecy with NASA and private companies to develop applications for HoloLens. We've seen little sneak previews here and there, but today Microsoft vastly increased the number of companies that will be working on HoloLens apps.

Microsoft is now accepting applications for its HoloLens Development Kit. Microsoft hasn't said how many development kits it will issue, but it did say they'll start coming out early next year. Unfortunately, it also set the price at $3,000, which is a bit steep for individuals. However, after a few generations of commercial development it will probably be down to reasonable levels.

To get developers, and future users, excited about the technology, Microsoft unveiled an augmented reality game. You have to see this.

Next page: HoloLens: See "Project X-Ray" in action
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