HoloLens brings Portals to the real world

HoloLens has been used for a plethora of applications – from emergency responders, elevator technicians, and museum exhibits, to a simulated military exercise for the U.S. Marines and a few trials by the Australian Air Force.

Those are some very serious and critical use-cases, where time – or life – could depend on the operation of Microsoft’s mixed reality headset; HoloLens truly shows us a vision of the future, but sometimes we need to take a break and relax.


Valve’s famous ‘Portal’ games have been praised time and time again; whether it’s the story, the gameplay, or the level design, Valve got everything just right.

Kenny W, a developer building augmented reality games, brought Portals to Microsoft’s HoloLens as a side project.

The video above is mind-boggling, to say the least; it’s perhaps one of the best displays of what gaming in augmented or mixed reality would look like.

Kenny’s project has Portal’s Companion Cube, along with accurate physics and the ability to put portals anywhere.

HoloLens and mystical powers somehow are able to tell where the walls are; portals appear at the right place, the physics react accurately to real-world walls. It’s a dream-come-true for everyone who loves the Half-Life universe.

Gaming on the HoloLens

The demo is amazing, but let’s be realistic – HoloLens is still a devkit that starts at the price of $3,000. It’s not a gaming headset – that’s what the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are.

HoloLens also suffers from a field-of-view problem; wearing a HoloLens and playing the demo would look nothing like it does in the video. The HoloLens headset has a limited FoV, and thus delivers an underwhelming gaming experience.

Although Microsoft is expanding the Windows Holographic ecosystem with the help of its OEMs; these headsets would most likely fail to deliver a mixed reality experience as good as the HoloLens – after all, the $3,000 price tag is not for nothing.

If HoloLens – or another mixed reality headset – does turn to the gamers for success; we hope we will all be thinking with Portals.

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