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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Microsoft announces Project X-Ray, transforms your living room into a holographic shooting range

Like most boys who grew up watching films bulging with action heroes who wielded seismic pectorals to double-axe hammer arrogant aliens and mercenaries into an explosion of despair-submission, I received most of my formal education from Arnold Schwarzenegger. His lessons are numerous, large, and ubiquitous. And while Arnold’s most important lesson, besides how to sarcastically take a punch to the face while your hands are bound behind your back, shows how to use holograms to dupe your enemies into riddling one another with crossfire bullets (Total Recall, baby!), he never showed us how to blast a hologram with a spiraling laser beam.

I guess Microsoft is prepared to remedy this oversight; at Microsoft’s 2015 event in New York, the company announced and demonstrated on stage Project X-Ray, a game/ demo for the upcoming AV/VR headset HoloLens – a device for which a development kit will become available via successful application (which can be submitted as of today) in Q1 of 2016 for $3,000.

Related Reading: One of the most promising and unique VR games I’ve seen so far. Arnold would be proud!

In a live demonstration of Project X-Ray’s capabilities, a male subject masked in a headset pointed and fired a pistol, or “wearable hologram” that follows movement, at holographic, spawning, metallic scorpions, which shot fireballs toward the subject at speeds calculating enough for him to dodge them with a leisurely side-lunge. The critters are said to react intelligently to objects in the room thanks to sensors. I’m assuming this allowed them to cling to or scurry behind the wall and under the couch as they strived to melt the headset to his face. The game’s setup is claimed to be tether-free, meaning no wires and connections of any kind.

Are you excited at the possibility of side-lunging an arachnid’s lava projectiles? I am. And I’m quite sure Schwarzenegger would be…

- Jedediah H.
Microsoft announces Project X-Ray, transforms your living room into a holographic shooting range
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