As augmented reality makes its way into our everyday lives, big tech companies such as Microsoft want to give users reasons to tap into their AR-oriented products and services.
Microsoft already took determined steps in that direction by recently bringing support for its Outlook Mail and Calendar applications to its AR headset, HoloLens.
With the added functionality, the apps can be opened up and placed wherever, but user experience dictates that HoloLens owners will set the inbox and calendar within reach. The company notes that HoloLens users can tweak the size and shape of the apps' windows, customizing them for top performance or viewing comfort.
The two apps come with the familiar sidebars from the Windows desktop version, which means that AR users can see the apps in basic view, should they choose so. Predictably, the main difference is in the title bar because of interface elements that are HoloLens-specific.
In Snap mode, the two apps look almost identical to their Windows 10 versions. The company mentioned late last month that it was working on allowing three "flat apps" to run in HoloLens simultaneously.
If you are one of the lucky few who already purchased the $3,000 developer kit from Microsoft, the apps are yours for the picking. Simply go to the Windows Store in HoloLens, search for Calendar and Outlook Mail and download them.
Like all newly released high tech gadgets, HoloLens does have some rough edges, but overall feedback seems to be rather positive. Augmented reality is probably the next best thing in the tech world, and boosting office productivity through HoloLens is something that a lot of companies are looking forward to. Microsoft acknowledges this and the support for the commonly used in-office apps demonstrates the venture's dedication to streamlining tasks and deadlines.
HoloLens already supports different Office apps such as Excel, Word, OneNote and PowerPoint.
One thing that Microsoft can do to turn HoloLens into a hard-to-refuse offer would be to drop the price point. As the prices of virtual reality headsets are gravitating around $800, AR headsets topping the $1,000 barrier become a risky bet for their developers.
Similar to other HoloLens apps, the Outlook programs are designed on the Universal Windows Platform (UWP).