Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition Ships March 30
Break open the piggy bank. Developers can preorder Microsoft's pricey, Windows 10-powered augmented-reality headset now.The first HoloLens headsets, Microsoft's entry into the burgeoning virtual- and augmented-reality market, will start shipping in about a month, along with related Visual Studio projects and a HoloLens emulator, announced the software giant today. "I'm thrilled to announce that starting today, developer applicants will start receiving invitations to purchase the Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition—which will begin shipping on March 30th," Alex Kipman, a technical fellow in Microsoft's Operating System Group, wrote in a company blog post. Initial shipments will be limited to the U.S. and Canada. As announced in Microsoft's hardware event in October, the hardware costs $3,000. HoloLens Development Edition's high price tag suggests that consumer adoption is not a priority for Microsoft, at least not at this early stage. By comparison, when HTC unveiled its Vive VR at Mobile World Congress last week, the company announced the headset would sell for $799 when it ships later this year. HoloLens is completely self-contained and doesn't require a companion PC or device to operate, reminded Kipman.
Competing virtual-reality platforms require a connection to a separate computing device. Samsung Gear VR, for instance, requires that users insert their Galaxy smartphones into the unit. "It's the only device that enables holographic computing natively with no markers, no external cameras, no wires, no phone required, and no connection to a PC needed," Kipman said. "And it's a Windows 10 device—the interface is familiar, and connected by the power of a unified ecosystem of Windows devices."