Imagine being able to interact with your email through a floating holographic? What once was only a dream made created by sci-fi movies has now become a reality, thanks to the Microsoft Outlook team!
That’s right, you can now access your email AND your calendar apps without your PC, laptop, tablet, smartphone, or smart watch!
The Microsoft team has brought Outlook Mail and Outlook Calendar to Microsoft HoloLens. These are the very first email and calendaring apps that have been created; the first fully self-contained holographic computer! Talk about a truly cutting-edge advance in the world of technology!
The team at Microsoft is truly excited to get these holographic Outlook apps into the hands of early HoloLens developers so that they can experience, for themselves, the benefits that email and calendaring in mixed reality offer.
What is Outlook Mail on HoloLens?
Outlook Mail on HoloLens allows you to replace your computer, or any other form of hard technology that you are using, to access your emails and your calendar right on a wall!
Outlook Mail for HoloLens is a form of augmented reality; the thing that sci-fi once dreamed of (think Tony Stark accessing his emails and building his Iron Man suit with computer technology that is displayed in the air.) Well, those sci-fi dreams have now become a real thing, and the general public will be able to use it in the very near future; at least that’s what Microsoft hopes.
Augmented reality has the ability to offer so many things, from transforming your living room into a live-action video game to turning maps into life-sized images that you can easily follow. However, before augmented reality can go that far, it has to start with the bare-bones basics, and Microsoft is just the team to get the ball rolling.
Basically, Outlook on HoloLens is an AR app. It looks pretty much like your standard email and calendar apps that you currently access on your smartphone, tablet, or Smart Watch, however, instead of pulling the app up on these devices, it gets launched onto a wall, or a screen, or any other solid surface. Pretty cool, right?
What Does it Look Like?
There isn’t much of a difference between the holographic images that the HoloLens MS Outlook app offers and the MS Outlook apps that you currently access. The images show up in full windows, giving you a full field of view.
What does it Offer?
According to the Microsoft team, there are some pretty cool applications that the Outlook app for HoloLens offers. For example, you can pin your email inbox or your daily calendar schedule onto a wall. This allows you to interact with either one, whenever you choose. All you have to do is look over at the designated area. What’s the benefit of this? Well, you can stay on top of your emails the same time that you are interacting with other digital content in the real world. Since Outlook Mail and Outlook Calendar are both universal window apps, the dev team at Microsoft was able to easily port them to the HoloLens, since they both run on Windows 10.
What does this mean for the Future of Augmented Reality?
The release of MS Outlook on HoloLens is just the beginning of augmented reality, and the Microsoft team is super excited about the potential opportunities that it presents – and the rest of the world should be excited, too! It means that there is the potential for even more powerful ways for you to stay connected, being productive, and keeping on top of your schedule. Microsoft says that they are far from done with creating and perfecting this new form of mixed reality; they say that the future holds a lot for this type of technology, and it is certainly exciting, to say the least.
The Outlook team at Microsoft is encouraging developers to install the Outlook Mail and Calendar apps from the Windows Store onto HoloLens. They also encourage feedback, comments, and questions on their developer forums.
Frequently Asked Questions
Naturally, a lot of questions have been raised regarding the advent of this invention. Some of the most commonly asked questions include the following:
- Q: How do you get Outlook Mail and Calendar apps onto HoloLens?
A: Actually, the process is simple. All you have to do is open up the Windows Store on HoloLens and search for Outlook Mail and Outlook Calendar. Once you locate them, simply click on “free” and then follow the steps for installation on your HoloLens.
- Q: How do I get HoloLens?
A: You can order a HoloLens Development Edition from the HoloLens product website. Simply follow the steps for ordering, place your order, and you will receive your HoloLens Development Edition.
- Q: Where can more information be found and feedback be offered?
A: You can contact Microsoft to receive more information about the HoloLens. You can also share your feedback about the HoloLens through the developer forums.
- Q: What Office apps can be use with the HololLens Development Edition?
A: To date, the following apps are available on the HoloLens Development Edition:
- Word Preview
- Excel Preview
- PowerPoint Preview
- OneNote Preview
- Q: Do you need to have an Office 365 subscription required to use Office documents on HoloLens?
A: If you are using OneNote, viewing, creating, and editing notebooks is free of charge, and you don’t need a subscription to do so. Also, viewing Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents is free; however, you do need to have a subscription to edit documents, worksheets, and presentations. This restriction will be removed from the HoloLens Development Edition sometime in the summer. During the interim period, however, you can get a one-month trial subscription.
- Q: Can Office documents be opened from HoloLens, no matter where they are stored?
A: Files can be opened from your recent documents list in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. You can also rename and create documents, worksheets, presentations, and notebooks. If you would like to search for other files that are not accessible through the Recent documents list, or save a copy of an open file, you first have to install OneDrive or DropBox, which you can do via the Windows Store on HoloLens.
- Q: Can you spell check documents on Word via HoloLens?
A: At the present time, no, you can’t. If you do receive a message that prompts you to install any proofreading tools, close the message bar.
- Q: Can documents that have been opened and/or edited using HoloLens be printed?
A: Not at the present time. However, you can open documents, worksheets, and presentations that you have created and/or edited on HoloLens using Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or OneNote on whatever your preferred platform may be, such as Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS. You can print them from these platforms.
- Q: Can you send filed that you have created or modified on HoloLens as attachments?
A: You can send files using web clients, such as outlook.com. Additionally, you can open documents, worksheets, presentations, and notebooks that have been created or edited on HoloLens on your favorite platform and send them from there.
For more information about MS Outlook on HoloLens, contact the HoloLens development team.