With release dates, price points, and even pre-order opportunities coming in a constant stream for this year’s variety of virtual reality headsets, it’s kind of easy to forget about augmented reality, sitting in its corner, biding its time. Making sure we know AR has plenty of exciting and interesting features in store for us, Microsoft has announced a new app for its upcoming HoloLens headset called Actiongram.
Microsoft is calling Actiongram a holographic storytelling tool which will provide content creators who don’t have any visual effects skills an easy and more affordable alternative. Actiongram works on HoloLens to bring 3D animated graphics into the real world and lets users record this mix of live and animated content using HoloLens’ mixed reality capture feature.
The app comes with a library of 3D models and effects created by the Microsoft development team; all the user has to do is select which model or effect they’d like to use and apply it to the world. You can see it in action here:
Microsoft is using Actiongram not only as an example of how easy HoloLens is to use for consumers; it’s also an example of how easy it is to develop content for the system. Actiongram was developed by a team of just 5 people in a space of 6 months and it seems that Microsoft are using this to appeal to other small development teams.
Actiongram has already been used by YouTube content creators in a closed beta program to show what the app can do before it’s launched on the Windows Store this summer. Just remember you’ll need a HoloLens Developer Kit to use it. Developers in the US and Canada can apply to buy the kits which begin shipping at the end of this month for £2130. Although we won’t be able to get our hands on Actiongram for a while, it’s nice to be able to get a better idea of what augmented reality tech will be capable of on its release and live special effects seems like something to get excited about!