Finally, Microsoft announced the initial price and the availability of its Microsoft HoloLens augmented reality device. For those of you new to augmented reality and holograms, Microsoft HoloLens is a self-contained – Windows 10 – computer in cordless, smart-glasses headset.
Microsoft HoloLens uses advanced sensors, high-definition stereoscopic 3D optical head-mounted display, spatial sound, augmented reality applications all in a natural user interface that the user interacts with, through voice, eye movements and hand gestures.
Just like META with their augmented reality headset and as previously stated by Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, the first HoloLens headset is a developer-oriented unit that Microsoft is calling the “HoloLens Development Edition.”
Microsoft HoloLens Specs
The hardware is comparable to the units we had on preview earlier in 2015 but just to remind you, the hardware consists of an x86 processor, 2GB RAM, 802.11ac and a 60Hz refresh rate, therefore expect the Development Edition units to have similar hardware specs.
Unlike other recent notable wearable devices like Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, META or even Google Glass where anyone could pay for a developer kit, any HoloLens developers must prequalify for a chance to work with the technology.
The developers must be part of “Windows Insider” program and there is also a limit of just two devices per applicant. Commercial customers (read big gaming houses here) will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and of course, allowed more than just two units.
Microsoft HoloLens Project XRay Game
Microsoft also revealed their latest “mixed reality” game for the HoloLens headset called Project XRay. In the Project XRay game, just like in Minecraft game played with HoloLens, you can turn any room of your house into your own gaming field.
On Project XRay thou’ you’re wearing holographic, wearable weapons on your arm, weapon that you can use to defend yourself against robots or alien threats. In this particular example, a robots crawl out of the walls and the player blasts them with holographic lasers, see the pic below.
The most beautiful part here is that holograms behave just like real objects; holograms can interact with the surrounding environment and with each other. The player is able to grab, wear and deploy new holographic weapons just like real weapon.
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Microsoft HoloLens Price And Availability
The development units are not cheap: the price tag is $3,000 (£2,000) and the price is quite problematic from our point of view as it is going to cut out students, developers in emerging countries and India comes to mind here.
For students alone, Microsoft has the academic research program, with proposals they asked to see earlier in 2015 and Microsoft will be awarding top five winning teams with two HoloLens Development Edition units and $100,000 in funding.
The shipping is expected to start in the first quarter of next year (2016). Bookmark this article and return later today if you are interested to know who the winners are.