How you’ll use Microsoft’s HoloLens: New videos show clicking, gazing and spatial sound

Remember thinking about whether to hit the right or left mouse button when clicking on something in the early days of computing? Now that holograms are our future, we’re going to have to learn how to click on things all over again.

Along with announcing the HoloLens developer kit ship date today, Microsoft also debuted a ton of new videos for developers that provide an inside glimpse of how the augmented reality headset will work. The video up top gives you a good overview of the main inputs, as well as spatial sound and mapping, but Microsoft gave developers a deeper look at each HoloLens interaction as well.

With the Gaze video below, for example, Microsoft suggests using a donut or circle for showing where the holographic pointer is in your apps.

There are videos on other input methods as well. The gesture one is pretty straightforward, and doesn’t include newest HoloLens accessory: the clicker, which lets users save their finger muscles from the repetitive, exaggerated motion used to register a click. And while the voice demo is pretty bland, it does have a really cool Minecraft demo.

Microsoft also released an in-depth video on spatial sound, which may be the most underhyped aspect of the HoloLens. With the HoloLens’ limited field of vision, seeing action to your left and right may be a struggle. But developers can attach sound to virtual objects, making it easy to catch the user’s attention aurally for a more immersive augmented environment.

These early developer videos will have a heavy influence over what consumers eventually see and hear when the HoloLens is released. Just like pinch-to-zoom on touchscreen and the shape of the cursor on a PC, these early iterations of design elements will likely affect how we interact with augmented worlds for years to come.

You can check out all the HoloLens videos over on Microsoft’s dedicated HoloLens YouTube channel. It also includes some classroom videos for developers wanting a deeper look at the code behind HoloLens interactions and apps before the March 30 ship date of developer units.

James Risley is a technology writer living in Seattle. He’s written for the Medill News Service and helped build small, news-focused web tools for covering transportation and politics. You can follow James on Twitter or Instagram and reach him at
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