What HoloLens Development Edition Has in Store for Early Adopters

1 - What HoloLens Development Edition Has in Store for Early Adopters
2 - Here's the Hardware
3 - Hobbyists Need Not Apply
4 - Limited Window
5 - Developer Resources
6 - HoloStudio: Gateway to 3D Printing
7 - Virtually There With Skype
8 - Part Living Room, Part Video Game
9 - Immersive Storytelling: Fragments
10 - Getting Gamers Onboard
11 - Educational Possibilities
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What HoloLens Development Edition Has in Store for Early Adopters

For developers willing to pay $3,000 for Microsoft's HoloLens Development Edition augmented-reality headset, here's what they can expect when it ships at the end of March.

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Here's the Hardware

Here's what $3,000 buys early adopters. Apart from the headset, the package includes a carrying case, a charger, a micro-USB 2.0 cable, a microfiber cleaning cloth and the Clicker input accessory that allows users to select, scroll and double-click virtual interfaces and objects.

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Hobbyists Need Not Apply

At $3,000, the HoloLens Development Edition is no impulse buy. Unlike the low-cost Kinect, a hit among hardware hackers, investing in the HoloLens ecosystem at this early stage requires a serious financial commitment.

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Limited Window

Another major downside is the HoloLens' limited field of view. Users expecting "holograms" to sprout up all around them may be disappointed to learn that the 3D visuals are confined to a window that, while generously sized, falls just short of complete immersion.

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Developer Resources

If Microsoft is known for one thing, it is a tradition of providing a copious amount of developer documentation and resources. The Windows Holographic Dev Center is keeping that tradition alive.

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HoloStudio: Gateway to 3D Printing

One of the earliest example applications available for the hardware is HoloStudio. It enables users to import or build objects in 3D using gesture and voice controls and optionally output them for 3D printing.

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Virtually There With Skype

Early buyers will be able to use Skype on HoloLens, one of the hardware's most enterprise-friendly use cases. From improved collaboration to guided instruction and assisted repairs, developers will get a taste of how HoloLens can affect real-world workflows and business processes.

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Part Living Room, Part Video Game

The Young Conker game from Asobo Studio layers a video game level onto couches, coffee tables and other household surfaces. By moving around some furniture or home accessories, kids can release their inner game developer and come up with their own innovative level designs.

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Immersive Storytelling: Fragments

Another game from Asobo Studio called Fragments puts players in the shoes of an investigator tasked with solving high-tech crimes. By stashing clues in players' living rooms, Fragments may help usher in a new era of augmented-reality games.

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Getting Gamers Onboard

Hardcore gamers help push the limits of PC hardware. RoboRaid (formerly Project X-Ray) is an example of how the popular 3D game engines and development platforms like Unity can be used to create action-packed, augmented-reality experiences that gamers crave.

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Educational Possibilities

The Galaxy Explorer project from Microsoft Studios is one of the most vivid examples of how HoloLens can be used to help people learn about the world around them, or in this case, the Milky Way galaxy. Although not an officially announced part of the HoloLens Development Edition, the team behind the software is making steady progress and plans to open-source the code.