Microsoft Build 2017, the first of Microsoft's big developer conferences for the year, is just a few weeks away. This very popular conference, which has been going on since 2011, is known to sell out fast. In 2015, it sold out in under an hour, and in 2016, in less than 5 minutes. This year was no different, according to VentureBeat; While not quite as fast as last year with so many rumors of HoloLens on the horizon at the time, this year's Build was sold out in 8 hours. And for this year's Build, Microsoft is doing something new.
As a means to recognize and celebrate software developers on the Windows 10 platform at Build this year, Microsoft has announced the first-ever Windows Developer Awards. Using a vote-based system, four of the categories — App Creator of the Year, Game Creator of the Year, Core Maker of the Year, and Reality Mixer of the Year — will be decided by the Windows development community between now and April 27. A fifth category — Ninja Cat of the Year — is a special recognition category that will be chosen by the Windows team.
Of course, the category we are interested in here at Next Reality is Reality Mixer of the Year, the primary place for augmented and mixed reality applications. And what makes us happy is to see three of the four apps in that category have been featured here on Next Reality.
Here are the contestants that Windows developers can vote for:
Mike Farrall and his complete end-to-end 3D modeling package Verto Studio VR was not only the first program to explore 3D modeling in holographic space, it was always one of the first complete solutions that appeared on the Windows Store from someone that was not a Microsoft partner. (We covered it back in January.)
Sally Slade and Teresa Fitzgerald from LA-based Magnopus put together Muralize to make painting a mural almost trivial by leveraging the power of the HoloLens. We learned about Sally Slade's inspiration to make Muralize in an interview this past December.
Dangling Concepts and Imran Shafiq have been featured on Next Reality multiple times, including a feature on HoloTerrain itself. A prolific developer with an eye toward quality user experiences, it is no surprise that he is on this list. HoloTerrain allows you to choose coordinates and see full 3D renderings of the selected areas.
Lucas Rizzotto created MyLab, an amazing, fully interactive periodic table and atom spawning application. With the HoloLens, you can select atoms, learn their structure, and combine them together to form molecules. While not a simple application in context, the user experience is well thought out and quite easy to use.
There is one other HoloLens application in the contest in the Core Maker of the Year category, HoloHomeLens. This application — quite similar in scope to Hue Lights developed by a recent addition to the Next Reality team, tutorial writer Anthony Corrado — allows the user to use their HoloLens to change the color and brightness of the Phillips Hue Lighting system bulbs in their home or office. But unlike Hue Lights, HoloHomeLens is being communicated through a Windows IoT Core powered device using AllJoyn, an open-source home automation framework.
So if you have a Windows Developers Account, you should definitely log in to the Awards page and cast your votes. I look forward to seeing the final results at Build 2017 in a few weeks.
Are there any HoloLens apps that you feel should have gotten some recognition and got missed? Will you be attending Build 2017? Let us know in the comments below. I would love to meet up with any readers and say "hello."