Microsoft Hololens developer kit price, release date and tour announced

by Will Mason • October 6th, 2015

At an event that had us up “earlier than ever before,” Microsoft unveiled a slew of new Windows 10 devices and improvements. Among the many announcements was the release of the first Hololens developer kit, which Microsoft is taking applications for today. The developer kit will be released in Q1 2016 and will cost $3000, placing it firmly in the enterprise hardware level the company has said they would be targeting with the initial release.

In addition to learning about the first developer kit, we also got a glimpse at one of the awesome applications that the Hololens developers have been playing at home with their families, ‘Project X-Ray,’ a look into the world of mixed reality gaming.

As the demo began a holographic interface sprung up around the demonstrator’s hand and arm, and was able to remain locked there as he moved his hand. This megaman like gauntlet would be his weapon this morning as he defended the stage from hordes of robots who invaded through the walls.

This is pretty impressive because it shows a great deal of spatial awareness on the device, something that is a by-product of Microsoft’s excellent computer vision research.

The demo was shown using the same camera method as they used in the Microsoft Build presentation, a methodology that some may argue is somewhat dishonest. The presentation shows the holograms in their full glory, not at all demonstrating the device’s current field of view, which is closer to 40º. This could be a huge problem going forward as it sets an unfair bar for the technology in consumer’s minds.

To get a better idea of what the Hololens’ actual field of view is like check out this great demonstration from Doc Ok:

These demonstrations sure look great on stage, at least to those of us viewing from home, but they show the technology in a state that it simply isn’t in yet. Fully opaque models in the room, black colors, and wide field of view are all things that are suggested by this method and are all things that the device is currently not capable of. Perhaps Microsoft has these set as target goals for the consumer devices, but caution should be taken when explaining the device to the average consumer. For an accurate portrayal of the device in its current state, which is still fairly impressive, be sure to check out Doc Ok’s full hands on review.

In addition to applying for a developer kit, they can also register today for a demo at one of 11 locations over the next two months. Here is the full list of cities and dates on the Hololens tour:

  • Seattle
    Oct 13 – 16
  • Toronto
    Oct 19 – 22
  • Salt Lake City
    Oct 20 – 22
  • Chicago
    Oct 26 – 29
  • San Francisco
    Oct 26 – 30
  • Los Angeles
    Nov 2 – 5
  • New York City
    Nov 2 – 5
  • Minneapolis
    Nov 9 – 11
  • Phoenix
    Nov 10 – 12
  • Atlanta
    Nov 17 – 19
  • Austin
    Nov 17 – 20

You can sign up for your demo here. According to Microsoft, space is limited so be sure to sign up soon!

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