Microsoft is planning to ship its self-contained HoloLens headset on March 30 to developers who applied and paid $3,000 for the system.
In a blog post announcing the ship date, Microsoft also revealed some details about the device that had only been hinted at previously. Among them, the wireless unit’s built-in cameras “also enable you to record mixed reality captures (MRC) — HD pictures and video of the holograms in the world around you that you can share with others even when they don’t have a HoloLens.”
The device also features Bluetooth 4.1, “helping enable accessories like the clicker that ships with your HoloLens device.” The headset is also supposed to recognize some simple hand gestures so it’s unclear at this point what functionality specifically is unlocked by the clicker.
The mixed reality captures are eye-catching and will likely help people at home see the possibilities of HoloLens. How representative those videos are of what it feels like to wear a HoloLens is an open question though. Microsoft has been criticized for showing the system running something like Minecraft mixed together with a view of the real world. So far HoloLens is only able to insert holograms into a small rectangle of a person’s view of the world. This means that when objects are shown all around a person in a video, it doesn’t represent what the person is able to see at any given moment through the glasses.
It’s fundamentally different from the mixed reality capture being pioneered with Fantastic Contraption on the HTC Vive headset. In that situation, a person sees so much of a virtual world inside the goggles they believe they are in that place. The real world is shown merged with the virtual one to offer people elsewhere a sense of what the person is experiencing.
To bring you the latest we’ll keep following all the major augmented reality headsets including HoloLens, Meta and Magic Leap.