This week, team members from SCS and Learning Tech visited the University of Kansas Medical Center to learn about and get hands on experience with the Microsoft HoloLens. This new headset uses "mixed reality" to blend holographic objects in a real world setting. For example, when wearing the headset, you may see a virtual object and interactive with it within your own real world room. Unlike most VR devices, the HoloLens is wireless--the entire headset is a self-contained Windows 10-powered PC! HoloLens provides a wide range of new and emerging applications and continues to provide a platform for developers to create new experiences. The HoloLens is just one of the virtual reality devices that ESU is exploring as we look to bring this new technology and enhanced learning experiences to our current and prospective students.
We also visited the Microsoft Store in Overland Park to see new technologies including the Surface Studio, an all-in-one PC with a 28" touch and pen-based display. This high-end computer is targeted at creative professionals and public spaces that would benefit from an eye-catching, interactive PixelSense (greater than 4K!) display. Picture here, we were able to quickly add some ESU-specific content to see it's vibrant screen.
Another item of interest to us is the Surface Hub, a 55" interactive display built on Windows 10. It's part-PC and part whiteboard that accepts pen and touch input, then lets you share your content via email before it "refreshes" for the next user. Both technologies encourage creativity and collaboration and are important components to Microsoft's vision. While we don't yet have either device at ESU, we use the Microsoft Surface Pro tablets as well as Office 365 technologies as part of our overall collaboration offerings. ESU IT works with Microsoft and other vendors to get hands on access to the latest technology, which allows us to develop innovative solutions and provide great, user-friendly experiences to our students, faculty and staff.