autodesk + microsoft preview hologram rendering platform for designers using ‘hololens’
all images courtesy of microsoft





the future of augmented reality as seen in movies like minority report and star wars is rapidly upon us. in january, mircsoft announced a holographic computer called microsoft hololens that allows users to overlay 2D and 3D objects in a real-world living and work space. software rendering company autodesk immediately sensed the possibilities of the platform for 3D engineering and industrial design. after spending of bit of time with ‘hololens’, they realized how limiting it is the view 3D objects on a relatively small, flat screen rather than being able to use an entire real-world workspace for 3D design projects. 

microsoft-hololens-autodesk-fusion-360-collaboration-designboom-02 the view of a hologram rendering at a work desk




together the two companies kicked off a joint project called ‘freeform’ to build a proof of concept with ‘fusion 360’ and ‘hololens’. to fully understand what they could do with the microsoft platform, autodesk spent several months building dozens of prototypes and tested many scenarios to understand how designers and engineers could benefit most from a mixed reality environment. they explored ways to make work areas have infinite space by using walls and open areas overlaid with holographic objects. the interface team explored how users could collaborate together by looking at the same holographic model and being able to walk around it and discuss various aspects of the design as if it were really sitting on their table. they studied the possibilities of creating and editing directly from a holographic model, as well as pitching a final design to an executive team or customer. 


for now, the joint ‘hololens’ and ‘fusion 360’ project is still in development. but the future of holographic computing is likely closer than people realize. to illustrate the progress being made, microsoft created a video of the exciting possibilities. check it out below. 


a showcase of the possibilities with ‘hololens’ and ‘fusion 360’ 
video courtesy of microsoft 


microsoft-hololens-autodesk-fusion-360-collaboration-designboom-03 engineers can preview construction of their models before building