In the Build 2015 event in San Francisco, Microsoft focused, of course, on Windows 10 and its app development platform. As a software development conference, the heart of the discussions was always on code development for certain applications and how easy it will be to accomplish certain things in the Windows platform. I am not trying to give a history of all Microsoft presentations, but pick up on certain display relevant aspects.
One of the display topics is the HoloLens device that I will report on separately.
Microsoft pushed the idea of being the development platform, independent of programming language and device used. This does include opening the source code by developing open platforms. It would appear that the company has received the memo from Google about the strength of open platforms. This does include the ability to address many displays and resolutions without any machine specific code.
A similar feature is the ability of Windows 10 to drive multiple displays side by side, where the monitors have different dpi specifications. It will prevent artifacts from scaling the image on different monitors. Windows 10 will include this feature in future releases.
Microsoft also showed Continuum, the Windows 10 software that will also work on Windows Phone. The software allows your smartphone display to be shown on a larger display like a tablet. However, the unique solution allows you to not only scale the smartphone’s display to the larger display, but if there is a native application for the tablet available (like Powerpoint for example) the shown image actually uses the tablet’s software user interface. This will only work on future Windows phones as it requires a new technology developed together with Qualcomm.
The company showed the new DirectX 12 capabilities when driving the necessary hardware. As an example, it showed a game scene from Square Enix (Final Fantasy series and other games) running on a PC using four high end graphic cards. The resulting images are just amazing. Watching them in a live stream on a 20″ HD+ display makes you think twice if this is actually a game stream or just video. Just see for yourself in the following images.
The demonstration included putting the video in manual mode and moving around and changing the lighting. The flesh tones and detail are very life like indeed. Combine this with high resolution monitors (4k/UHD) and high dynamic range and we may be looking at the future of interactive entertainment content that rivals movies. It may also diminish the use of stunt people in the future, as the computer will provide images indistinguishable from the acquired content. – NH