Award-winning design and its makers: the “Microsoft HoloLens”

Once a year, the jury of the Red Dot Award: Product Design honours projects of high design quality. In 2016, only 1.5 percent of all entries received the highest distinction “Red Dot: Best of the Best”. The Microsoft Design Team was awarded for the Augmented Reality Headset “Microsoft HoloLens”.

Magic interaction
The Microsoft HoloLens offers a new kind of experience based on holographic representation technology. This wireless computer comes in the shape of a curved visor that projects holograms in the user’s physical environment. Users can both place the holographic objects and interact with them. The main innovation of HoloLens is that rather than trying to block users from reality and their environment, it embeds the holographic objects into the world around them. The visor was optimised ergonomically for peripheral viewing and uses infrared light to dimensionally track not only the user’s hand gestures but also the room around the user. Its spherical visor understands where users are looking, it recognises their voice commands and can spatially map their surroundings.

Red Dot: Best of the Best for the Microsoft HoloLens
The Red Dot jury stated: “The Microsoft HoloLens seamlessly merges computer-generated worlds with human perception and experience. It translates the latest in technology into a new form for the highest possible level of user experience. The device understands gestures, body movements and voice commands and turns them into holographic representations. Offering an innovative approach toward interaction, it opens up new worlds and fascinates with a design honed toward ergonomic convenience.” The jury awarded the Red Dot: Best of the Best for this outstanding design achievement. Red Dot spoke with the designers of the Microsoft Corporation, who designed the HoloLens.

Red Dot: What was your goal when you designed your award-winning product?
Microsoft Design Team: With the HoloLens augmented reality headset we wanted to create an approachable, comfortable and intuitive device that brings mixed-reality holograms to life.

How do you define design quality?
How well a product works.

What do you see as being the biggest challenges in your industry at present?
Merging physical and digital interfaces in ways that enable seamless experiences.

» Further information on the Red Dot Award: Product Design