I attended a number of sessions today but two events stand out. First, I got to try out the new Hololens and second there were some new announcements in the Azure Identity world.

Hololens Review

I was able to get an appointment to try out a Hololens at the Microsoft exhibit hall. For those of you who haven’t seen this before, this is another technology that you think is somewhere in the future but is here today. Hololens is based on augmented reality which allows you to view virtual objects in your everyday world. This is different from virtual reality where you are completely emerged in a different world. Think Star Wars game (augmented reality) vs. The Matrix (virtual reality).

I used the headset in Microsoft’s “living room” of tomorrow. This technology is incredible and I am certain that we will see augmented reality, at the very least, in the workplace within the next few years. By far the coolest thing I got to see was the galaxy explorer in my “living room”. I could virtually examine the solar system and a nebula all from house.  I was also able to pin virtual photos and videos around my house by selecting them from the device’s camera roll.  Incredible.

The possibilities for this technology are endless from virtual business meetings, education as well as entertainment. Virtual and augmented reality is going to happen. Check out this Wired article for the best state of the industry overview that I have read.

The future is now, you just need $3,000 to buy a developer Hololens.

Identity sessions

The Identity team announced a new product today that might be an ADFS killer. Azure AD Pass-through Authentication (PTA) is expected to be released sometime in the first half of 2017 and looks to simplify the SSO and federation processes typically performed by ADFS.

Features include:

  • Forms based authentication for non-domain joined/outside of corporate network users (PTA)
  • SSO for domain joined users on corporate network (SSO)
  • No need for dedicated servers
  • PTA can be installed on existing servers or DC’s
  • SSO is only a computer account in AD
  • No load balancers
  • PTA automatically uses all available connectors no need to load balance
  • No DMZ
  • All connections are outbound
  • No unauthenticated endpoints on the internet
  • No certificates to manage