On February 29th, Microsoft announces that it’s open the doors to pre-order the HoloLens Development Edition kit. The kit cost $3,000, and it’s only available for a select group of people. The software giant began accepting applications for the development kit back in October 2015, and today the company will start sending invites to developer applicants to purchase the device.
HoloLens will begin shipping on March 30, 2016, in the United States and Canada. Microsoft’s Alex Kipman says that the company will expand availability of device “further down the line.”
HoloLens tech specs
Alongside the announcement, Microsoft is also revealing the HoloLens tech specs.
The headgear features a custom-built Microsoft Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) and an Intel 32-bit architecture. “The HPU is custom silicon that allows HoloLens to understand gestures and gaze while mapping the world all around you, all in real time,” and a built-in camera can record the mixed reality captures (MRC).
The device also comes equipped with support for Bluetooth 4.1 to help enable accessories like the “clicker”, which comes bundled with the kit.
“HoloLens has see-through holographic lenses that use an advanced optical projection system to generate multi-dimensional full-color holograms with very low latency so you can see holographic objects in your world.”
Here’s a list detailing the full hardware specifications:
|Intel 32 bit architecture
Custom-built Microsoft Holographic Processing Unit (HPU 1.0)
|2GB of RAM
2-3 hours of active use
Up to 2 weeks of standby time
Fully functional when charging
Passively cooled (no fans)
Audio 3.5mm jack
Battery status LEDs
Bluetooth 4.1 LE
|Micro USB 2.0
4 environment understanding cameras
1 depth camera
1 2MP photo / HD video camera
Mixed reality capture
1 ambient light sensor
|See-through holographic lenses (waveguides)
2 HD 16:9 light engines
Automatic pupillary distance calibration
Holographic Resolution: 2.3M total light points
Holographic Density: >2.5k radiants (light points per radian)
|In the box
|HoloLens Development Edition
Charger and cable
What can you do with HoloLens
With the Microsoft’s augmented reality headgear “you can create and shape holograms with gestures, communicate with apps using your voice, and navigate with a glance. HoloLens understands your gestures, gaze, and voice, enabling you to interact in the most natural way possible. With spatial sound, HoloLens allows you to hear holograms from anywhere in the room, even if they are behind you.”
Microsoft notes that developers will also have access to “hundreds” of universal Windows apps (UWP) through the Windows Store, including OneDrive, Maps, Remote Desktop, People, Movie & TV, Groove Music, and Microsoft Office apps.
The company explains that the HoloLens Development Edition kit will give developers the tools they need to get started creating new experiences for the augmented reality headgear.
In addition, starting immediately, developers can have access to documentation, and to the forums, to help jumpstart the creation of new experience for the new Windows 10 device. For information, Microsoft has created http://www.dev.windows.com/holographic for guides and tutorials.
Other tools, such as Visual Studio projects and a “HoloLens emulator” will be available to customers starting March 30th.
How to get a HoloLens
If you want to get a Development Edtion kit there are a few prerequisites.
- You need to be a developer located in the United States or Canada.
- You have to be a participant of the Windows Insider program for Windows 10.
- You’ll need to apply at this Microsoft website, once you’re accepted, you will receive an invite to purchase the kit.