As part of their partnership with the NFL, Microsoft has put out a new concept video that offers a vision of how we could watch the Super Bowl in the future. The company’s partnership already includes providing all teams with Microsoft Surface tablets for use during games (along with requiring them to use only that tablet).
Writing in a company blog post, Yusuf Mehdi, the company’s Corporate Vice President of Windows and Devices Group, asks an ambitious question about the future of football: “What if game day was no longer confined to your television screen, but covered your room and took over your coffee table?” He says that the video, first shown at a Superbowl 50 panel titled “The Future of Football: How Technology Could Shape the Next 50 Years of the Game,” showcases how the use of 3D holograms could dramatically change the experience of watching football at home.
The video itself shows several instances of how the mixed-reality headset could be used at home. Viewers could pull up of a full 3D hologram of the stadium with pertinent information, for example. A player hologram could burst through their wall when they call up the player’s stats. While some of those may seem superfluous and a bit awkward, the idea of being able to watch instant replays of touchdown plays set atop your coffee table seems much more useful and exciting.
While Microsoft has been criticized for overstating certain aspects of the HoloLens (like field of view) in the past, the video’s examples are consistent with what those who have used the device say it’s capable of. In a recent talk with developers, a Microsoft tech evangelist said that the device’s field of view would be similar to having a 15-inch laptop a couple feet in front of you. At the talk, we also learned that the device’s battery should last about 5.5 hours, and that it will be totally wireless.
The device is essentially a holographic computer that can run traditional “flat apps” alongside “3D apps” using holographic images. Microsoft is calling it “the world’s first fully untethered holographic computer.”
While there’s no solid launch date for the device, the Development Edition ships in Q1 of this year.