Microsoft HoloLens gets real with Windows 10 apps

At Build, Microsoft showed off new demos for its augmented reality headset.

Microsoft wants you to know that its augmented reality headset that mixes the real and virtual worlds is not just a gimmick. At its Build developer conference, the company showed off several new demos of Windows 10 applications for HoloLens.

This is what Windows 10 apps running on HoloLens look like. There’s a virtual start menu, Skype panel that you can pin to the wall, a hologram of the weather in Maui and even a virtual dog.

You can watch a movie that’s playing on a video panel and by saying “follow me,” you can have that panel follow you around.

There are also business uses. Architects can use HoloLens to interact with 3D models of buildings and structures laid out on a table. They can also get an idea of what a building is going to look like by seeing full-size virtual renderings of its design.

Medical students can use holograms to explore the human body without opening up a cadaver. These are holographic displays of the skeletal, circulatory and other human body systems. Check out the details in this virtual beating heart.

Microsoft also showed how the maker community can use HoloLens applications by bringing a robot based on Raspberry Pi 2 to life. The holographic robot named B15 sat on top of a physical one that was made using a $35 Raspberry Pi 2 developer board.

We still don’t know when HoloLens will be released, how much it'll cost, or the tech specs inside it. But Microsoft did announce new partners for the device, including NASA, the Cleveland Clinic and Walt Disney Company.

Of course, these cool demos were controlled as part of the company’s keynote presentation-- we’ll have to see the apps in the real world to see if they’re just as impressive.

At the Build conference in San Francisco, Melissa Aparicio, IDG News Service.