January 28, 2020

Some Business Ideas with HoloLens – (15) Holo-Rock Star

This is the 15th in a series of “Some Business Ideas with HoloLens”. Read other posts here.


HoloLens - Copy


Holo-Rock Star

Development Effort: 9/10
Business Value: 9/10
Wow Factor: 9.5/10


Before I started writing this “Some Business Ideas with HoloLens” series, I create a long list of ideas that are potentially workable. Rock star in one of them I decide to do later. Then I saw Anthony Lacopo’s article on Business 2 Community. He posted a few other well thought out ideas. Here is what he wrote about being a rock star:

Becoming a Rockstar

We all dream of being a rockstar, and recording a full length album in a recording studio. Picture yourself sitting at your dining room table, equipped with a pair of HoloLens glasses as you mix and master your garage band’s album on a virtual 96 track pro audio studio. An experience that was once only accessible to professional recording artists will soon be available at our convenience.

I said it is well thought out because it is not just fantasy. It not only has strong a use case (being or acting as a rock star), but also is practical and workable, if the HoloLens does what it is promised at launch. I am following the same idea here, but with some variations.

Many people have the inner urge to go on the stage, sing like a rock star, be greeted by a huge crowd screaming, yelling. Most of us will never have a chance to do that. A few get on the American Idol, they have to be good enough. What if someone organizes a concert of your own, and you don’t have to be a rock star. Actually you don’t have to be good at singing, people will go wild for your every move, wouldn’t that be great? I am not kidding. It is true, though with minor details: you have to put on your HoloLens. Also it is not a real concert, and the people in the audience are not real either, but everything looks real, and sounds real. Wouldn’t that still be great?

Here is how it works. An holographic app targeting HoloLens can be created. There will be stage settings to choose from, a list of popular songs to choose from, a list of matching audience to choose from. The stages will be 3D-modeled real stages, the people will be real 3D modeled people. There is no need for close-ups for people’s face, because the audience’s faces are unimportant, but they wave, they move, they scream, syncing with the performance. There will be a side screen gives you karaoke style lyrics (maybe music scores too). Performer can choose the ratio of the performers’ voice/sound to original voice/sound in the mixed output. If you are not that good, you set the ratio lower. You will hear more of the original recording, less of yours. If you think you are good, you can set the ratio all the way to 100%. Only your voice/sound can be heard. It really won’t matter because the audience love you anyway. I am still deciding which one is cooler: a virtual instrument or a really one the rock star should have, but they work either way.

Is the app like this hard to do? Yes. It’s hard to generate high fidelity 3D audiences and theatre settings, but they are all technically possible. I would avoid animated audience and anything look fake. It has to look real. It’s challenging but can be done.


Some Business Ideas with HoloLens – (13) Holo-Home Design

This is the 13th in a series of “Some Business Ideas with HoloLens”. Read other posts here.

HoloLens - Copy


Holo-Home Design

Development Effort: 6/10
Business Value: 7.5/10
Wow Factor: 9/10

Home design, home décor, interior design, etc. follow the same idea here. There is advanced software to complete designer’s task, from acquiring dimensions, design and presentation. Now, lets look at what it would be like if a designer uses HoloLens.

In home design, designers work with predefined setups. The spaces maybe reformatted but mostly based on current layouts. If the designer goes to the client site with a HoloLens. All the measure work can be done with the device, which save the mistakes in measuring. Also, a 3D model can be built with the initial  scan. When the designer goes back to office, he can work directly on top of that. This saves designers a lot of time.

More importantly, home design is a kind of thing that needs clients’ involvement or input. Different people have different tastes in styles, colors, materials, and the client is the one to have the final words. You can’t just work out a design and show the client. If they don’t like then you start over. So the design, redesign and visualization process should come in a way that is easy to see for the normal people. If the designer comes to the client with initial ideas, and put the ideas into HoloLens, let them see it in 3D. Not only 3D, they can walk around to see it in different angles. During the process, new ideas and suggestions from the clients can be put on instantly and the client can see the results right away from Hololens. For example, some client prefers graphite for kitchen counters, some likes light colors for it. For me, I like my frig pure white than the stainless finish. All those changes can be done instantly on site, and the client see the immediate result. You, as the designer, don’t have to go back and forth a few times to get things settled. That doesn’t only look great, it makes you work faster too.

To make this happen,  the current home design software makers need to modify their software to have HoloLens interface and holographic functions added on. I rate the technical difficulty 6/10, because for seasoned software developers who are used to 3D manipulation and rendering, it is not anything new. However, they need to find a way to fit a 3D scan result into their 3D model.



Some Business Ideas with HoloLens – (12) Holo-Newspaper, Magazine, Book

This is the 12th in a series of “Some Business Ideas with HoloLens”. Read other posts here.


HoloLens - Copy


Holo-Newspaper, Magazine, Book

Development Effort: 7.5/10
Business Value: 8/10
Wow Factor: 9/10
“Holo-Newspaper? Why?”, I heard you say. It sounds odd at first, but allow me to explain.

It’s true, many of us have given up printed newspapers, magazines, and even books. We read stuffs on the web, or e-readers. That doesn’t mean we don’t like publications in paper form. It’s that the web is just so convenient that we can get the same content and we don’t need to pay for it. If you look at the Wired Magazine and its online version. They are totally different. The quality of the two are day and night. One you can call it state-of-the-art, the other is just not comparable, in terms of content, format and elegance. That’s why many people still spend money to buy the printed magazine. The publishers need to make money, they can’t make the same money online, so they have to keep a big difference between the printed version and the online version.

Now, put the HoloLens into the equation. If Wired Magazine release an holographic app, so that when the reader puts on HoloLens, starts the Wired app. What he sees is the printed version of Wired magazine. You can hold it in hands, turn pages like you would do with a real magazine. You can fast flap pages by tapping on the page number, or jump to a page same way. Call out TOC by tapping at bottom of the page (it then appears on a separate window beside the book), or search the book using a virtual keyboard. You can turn on the audio, it will read it to you. Tapping on illustrations, 3D videos will jump out, with characters (this sounds like story book) jumping around. You can annotate the book, it shows or hides by a button switch. I think some of us will buy it if it works like this.

Nothing in this are awfully difficult to do.  All the gestures are standard, HoloLens will support them at the start. How to make the book look realistic is the key. There is a need to deal with the physics of the paper pages, that is the weight, thickness, flexibility of a sheet of paper. Granted, the technology is nothing new: animation movies have done that already.