Microsoft now accepting preorders for wearable VR HoloLens development kit, priced at $3,000

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2016
The Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition is now available to preorder for $3,000 and will start shipping in the U.S. and Canada on March 30, allowing developers to begin creating their own interactive augmented reality experiences.




Interesting parties must apply at Microsoft's website to be considered for the development kit. Applicants are limited to no more than two units and must be active participants in the Windows Insider program.

Unlike Oculus Rift, which requires a high-end PC to run virtual reality applications, Microsoft's HoloLens is a self-contained, untethered device that natively allows for holographic computing. It doesn't require external cameras, wires, or connection to a PC.



The unit is powered by the custom Microsoft Holographic Processing Unit, based on Intel's 32-bit architecture. The Microsoft-made chip understands gestures and gaze while mapping the world around the user in real time.

HoloLens also understands gestures, gaze, and voice, allowing users to interact with the hardware in a number of different ways. The headset also includes spatial sound, allowing users to hear holograms around them in 360 degrees.




With built-in support for Bluetooth 4.1, Microsoft HoloLens also allows for connectivity with third-party accessories. The development kit comes with a wireless clicker that developers can use right out of the box.

Developers will also gain access to an array of apps already available for HoloLens, including OneDrive, Maps, Remote Desktop, People, Movies & TV, Groove Music, and Microsoft Office apps.

There are also a number of "experiences" available to developers, intended to inspire them to create new and different kinds of apps. These include HoloStudio, which allows users to create in three dimensions; HoloTour, which showcases 360-degree panoramic displays of places like Rome and Machu Picchu; and Fragments, a mixed-reality crime drama that unfolds in your own environment.

Microsoft is also leveraging the intellectual property it owns to create new gaming experiences on HoloLens. Shipping with the developer's kit will be "Young Conker," a title based on Rare's foul-mouthed platforming character. The new HoloLens title takes traditional game mechanics and uses the player's real-world environment as the gameplay level.


Apple patent illustrating an augmented reality iPhone mapping app.


Apple has shown interest in virtual reality through patent filings and a number of hiring sprees, but the company does not announce future technology well in advance, unlike Microsoft and its strategy with HoloLens. If Apple is indeed working on a consumer virtual reality product, its existence likely would not be revealed until the product is nearly finalized, as it did in unveiling the Apple Watch in late 2014 before an early 2015 launch.

Apple did poach a key player from Microsoft's HoloLens team last year, hiring the lead audio engineer from the project. That only helped to further fuel speculation that Apple could be working on an AR project of its own.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    Suckers.
    nolamacguy
  • Reply 2 of 9
    msanttimsantti Posts: 1,377member
    Some cool tech but will wait until it's $300.

    And that could've quite a while.
  • Reply 3 of 9
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,521member
    That's a lot more than I thought it would cost. 
  • Reply 4 of 9
    It's sure to be a big hit for them and bring the 'wow'. 
    I wonder how many will catch on fire...
  • Reply 5 of 9
    I have boxes of obsolete tech that seemed cool at the time. Some of it from Microsoft. Some of it nearly as expensive as this thing. I learned my lesson and learned to curb my fascination with technology novelties.

  • Reply 6 of 9
    peteopeteo Posts: 341member
    Its AR not VR. Also its a developer kit an not meant for consumers so they don't expect to sell that many. Issue is the FOV sucks. With Meta announcing with a way bigger FOV on Wednesday, Holense might be dead in the water
  • Reply 7 of 9
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,948member
    I have boxes of obsolete tech that seemed cool at the time. Some of it from Microsoft. Some of it nearly as expensive as this thing. I learned my lesson and learned to curb my fascination with technology novelties.

    Me too...one of the cool thing that I never used: Jabra BT with screen to display the caller's number lol.
    VR is like 3-D TV a few years back...pure gimmick. Don't forget Smart Glasses from Google too.
    Maybe VR is good for watching pr0n at home. I actually saw a few guys at Samsung display kiosk yesterday with a Galaxy phone in a VR on their face while their hands swirling around according whatever they watched: look like complete idiots in public.
    edited February 2016
  • Reply 8 of 9
    matrix077matrix077 Posts: 554member
    fallenjt said:
    I have boxes of obsolete tech that seemed cool at the time. Some of it from Microsoft. Some of it nearly as expensive as this thing. I learned my lesson and learned to curb my fascination with technology novelties.

    Me too...one of the cool thing that I never used: Jabra BT with screen to display the caller's number lol.
    VR is like 3-D TV a few years back...pure gimmick. Don't forget Smart Glasses from Google too.
    Maybe VR is good for watching pr0n at home. I actually saw a few guys at Samsung display kiosk yesterday with a Galaxy phone in a VR on their face while their hands swirling around according whatever they watched: look like complete idiots in public.

    I'm interested in it just for this purpose (and games). For $300 I'm in. More than that...:sleep:
  • Reply 9 of 9
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,429member
    Ha!
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