Project HoloLens is the latest piece of tech to cause a stir. Only ever dreamt of in sci-fi books and films, Holographic environments are a step closer to being part of daily life rather than a mere concept.

With such a huge advancement in the way we could consume media, what would the world of publishing look like through HoloLens?

HoloLens is a Microsoft funded project, which surprised me at first – Microsoft aren’t known for their innovation and progressive technology ideas, or perhaps I like others have underestimated them.

HoloLens

Unsurprisingly, The Verge were one of the first to get their hands on the headset…

They’ve got a lot of interesting things to say about the highlights, problems and usability of the headset. All of which you can read here.

What we want to know is how could HoloLens and the future of wearable hologram technology affect publishing?

In the last decade the face of publishing has changed a great deal. In a culture where everything needs to be accessible everywhere the lines between mediums have been blurring for a while. With writers producing vlogs and traditional print newspapers having their own YouTube channels, video and publishing have never been so intertwined. It’s no longer accepted to be a one-platform pony; instead, ubiquity is becoming the norm.

Holographic devices are only going to blur these lines more, whether we like it or not.

Whilst HoloLens has been put forward as a device for specific activities rather than a full-time addition to the body, as the technology develops and gets smaller, HoloLens’ natural course will steer towards further integration.

Newspapers will use straight to headset videos to entice people to “read” stories. (I use “read” in the loosest term possible.)

Articles from fashion magazines will appear before your eyes when browsing in shops, “as seen on”, “wear with” and cheap alternatives pulled straight from the app and into the store.

On this note, sharing will be even more important: once voice recognition is introduced, any article can be shared with one word.

What about paper and the screen?

With the holographic headsets’ edgeless “screen” (that instead fills our entire field of vision), paper and the traditional  boxed-in screen will take on a different role to what we know now.

Publishing will be live and in small bursts. This could create issues for monthly/weekly magazines, for which finding a place in the holographic world could be problematic – no doubt this area will still thrive in non-holographic devices though.

All of this sounds very intense, but this is likely to be a slow transition. It won’t just happen overnight and whilst holographic technology is still developing, there are bound to be other technologies that will disrupt its course.

However if Microsoft and other tech companies continue down this path, the way in which we consume media will be forever changed. In this digital media landscape which has ever-changing guidelines, we welcome a new challenge and are interested in seeing how holographic publishing will be shaped by evolving technology.

 

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