Microsoft HoloLens offers a kind of magic virtual reality can't

Buzz Aldrin

The journey's just begun

HoloLens isn't just a gaming device: Microsoft envisions it having applications in education, medicine, science and work.

With its ability to allow several people at once to see the same holograms, HoloLens could easily become a must-have device in offices and job sites everywhere.

Instead of computer models shared on a flat screen, workers could see life-like representations of products manifest before their eyes. Someone could move a component here, another change an angle there, and before you know it the product is brought to life in hologram form.

Microsoft also recently demonstrated holoportation, where a 3D hologram of a person located somewhere else is visible to someone wearing HoloLens. It's not true teleportation, but does allow you to interact with someone as if they were really there.

Oculus isn't intent on keeping Rift as a gaming device, though right now, that's how it's best described. One day it will add social elements and let people hold virtual meetings with anyone in the world, but unlike HoloLens, you won't see people in the same room - or even see the room you're in.

HoloLens is only just now getting to developers, so its apps, games and experiences will only grow from here. Right now, its offerings are minuscule, but what I've seen of the headset show it has unbelievable potential.

Every headset on the market or coming soon offers something incredible. It's an amazing time for virtual and augmented reality, and I feel lucky to witness it.

But when it comes down to it, I truly believe HoloLens has the edge over every other device in the VR/AR space. It is so well crafted, so enjoyable to use, and doesn't suffer from the same limitations as its VR counterparts.

It has it's own limitations, to be sure, but I think Microsoft and its new cadre of developers are going to work around them and deliver mixed reality magic.

And if the price can drop enough for consumers to flock to it, we all might end up spellbound by what Microsoft has conjured.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.