On Monday, Microsoft announced that the HoloLens Development Edition is now available for preorders. In addition, the company said that shipping to developers will begin at the end of this month.
In its race to be part of the growing niche of virtual reality and augmented reality, Microsoft introduced holographic computer technology as part of Windows 10. With the HoloLens, the Windows OS maker has a fully untethered and self-contained device that allows for native holographic computing without any markers or even external cameras. You neither need a phone nor a PC connection in this case, which makes it quite unique.
Pricing and availability
According to Microsoft, the application program interfaces needed for holographic computing are already part of the new Windows 10. However, developers will be getting more tools such as HoloLens emulator and Visual Studio projects starting March 30 when the HoloLens starts shipping.
Inside the Development Edition, developers will also get a clicker, charger and cable, carrying case, nose pads, microfiber cloth as well as an overhead strap. The HoloLens Development Edition will cost developers about $3,000. At such a price, it is obvious that Microsoft is targeting the business class with this device. Facebook-owned Oculus VR also has its own development kit. However, Facebook has priced this kit at $350 less than the HoloLens.
What HoloLens developers get from purchasing the device
If you are a developer and happen to get yourself one of these HoloLens devices, you’ll enjoy immediate access to lots of Universal Windows Platform apps through the official Windows Store. To get you started, the Development Edition offers access to the cabinet of holographic app experiences, among them the HoloTour and HoloStudio.
With HoloTour, developers will be able to transport users to various locations and let them feel the experience of actually being there. On the other hand, HoloStudio lets developers create 3D-in-3D – at real-world scale, Microsoft said.
As mentioned earlier, the HoloLens is Microsoft’s path into virtual reality. Just to highlight a few examples of how the new development edition can be effective when it comes to game development, the company showcased three familiar games: Fragments, Young Conker, and Space Invaders. Well, even though not still the best from the VR world, but it still a showcase of what’s coming ahead.
At some point, virtual reality might be applicable in real life situations, for instance, repair technicians, technical schools, robot controllers, telemedicine facilities and space planners, among other fields. However, this might take some few years before being realized.