Microsoft is focusing on content creators for its next big update for Windows 10. The Windows 10 Creators Update will introduce a series of tools to make it easier for users to create 3D objects and insert them into whatever they want – which includes the mixed reality of the Hololens.
The central feature of the Creators Update is to integrate 3D objects into Microsoft’s applications. A new version of Paint called Paint 3D was demoed on stage, and it looks like the original paint application has gained more than a few new tools. This largely comes from the ability to easily add and manipulate 3D objects.
An onstage demo showed how 3D objects can be made simply by drawing an outline in Paint 3D. It’s unclear how capable this feature is, but it looks to have some potential for those who are interested in making simple 3D creations. These creations can also later be shared to Facebook as a rotating 3D image.
Getting 3D objects is often easier said than done, and Microsoft is taking some of the trouble of modeling a new object away by introducing a Remix 3D Community. This is a collection of 3D objects that can be imported into projects. Naturally, Minecraft has also featured in this Community; with the company saying that anything built in the game can be exported for use in the 3D Community. Minecraft creations can apparently be 3D printed once shared on the community, but no details were shared by Microsoft.
Additional assets will be added to the Community by users, but Microsoft is getting things started with a partnership with Thimble. This will see millions of objects created in SketchUp.
New objects can also be added to a user’s library through the Windows 3D Capture app. This Windows Phone app turns the camera into a 3D scanner; capable of turning any physical object into a virtual one.
Microsoft is looking to integrate 3D objects into its most popular applications over the coming year. And it looks to be starting with Power Point. The onstage demo showed how 3D objects can be used in presentations to make a point. More importantly, it also showed how Power Point can create transitions between multiple points of view of the same 3D object.
Finally, 3D is also making its way to the Microsoft Edge – for the Hololens. It essentially allows Microsoft’s mixed reality headset to access the Remix 3D community; creating a massive library of additional things to look at.
— Windows (@Windows) October 26, 2016
However, the real applications of this feature is for people shopping for furniture. Microsoft has partnered with Houzz.com to allow people to project objects from the interior design site into their own spaces; allowing customers to see how something would look in their homes before buying it.
Of course, this also means that people can scan objects using their phones and then project it in mixed reality in a separate location later. Which sounds like it would have a lot of practical applications.
The Microsoft Windows 10 Creators Update is scheduled to be released in the Spring, and will be available for free to everyone. A preview of the Creators Update will be made available to Windows Insiders by this week. That being said, there is no word on the availability of the 3D scanning app.