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Microsoft's Hololens Release Date, Pre-Orders, Specs, Apps, and Games

( [email protected] ) Mar 01, 2016 02:29 PM EST
Developers and businesses can now pre-order the HoloLens Development Edition on Feb. 29. Microsoft's virtual reality headset costs $3,000 and will begin shipping on March 30. Here's what is currently known about Microsoft's HoloLens release date, specs, apps and games.
Microsoft Hololens demonstration on October 6th. CNET

Developers and businesses can now pre-order the HoloLens Development Edition on Feb. 29. Microsoft's virtual reality headset costs $3,000 and will begin shipping on March 30. Here's what is currently known about Microsoft's HoloLens release date, specs, apps and games.

As of now, the HoloLens is still in development stages. Microsoft has not yet announced the availability of the device's consumer version. For those who want to get the Developers edition, beta testers in the Windows Insider program can pre-order it, according to Wired. Keep in mind that there's a limit of two HoloLenses per application.

In order to create apps and games on Microsoft's VR headset, developers have to make sure that they have Windows 10 on a PC loaded up with Visual Studio 2015 and the Unity 5.4 gaming engine. The amazing thing about HoloLens is that it offers untethered and self-contained augmented reality experience. Compare to Gear VR and Oculus Rift, users don't have to plug HoloLens into a PC or mobile phone.

HoloLens is equipped with a custom-built Microsoft Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) that features 32-bit Intel CPU, 2GB RAM, and 64GB of onboard solid-state storage. Its battery lasts for up three hours of active usage time.

Interestingly, Microsoft's VR headset has enough power to understand the gestures of its users, so it can map the virtual-reality world. The pair of holographic lens uses advanced optical projection system to create multi-dimensional, full-color holograms with very low latency. The images in the HoloLens create an illusion of computer-generated objects hovering or resting in the real-world spaces.

In addition to the headset, each development kit is available with a charger and cable, carrying case, a clicker, nose pads, and straps.

On the VR headset, there are volume controls to adjust the bass-rich speakers or 3.5mm headphones. Moreover, the device has microUSB port, Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.1 LE connectivity.

Microsoft's HoloLens is equipped with six ultra-clear cameras --- four that survey environment, one estimates depth of field, and a two-megapixel/1080p shooter to capture user's video. In addition, there are four microphones and ambient light sensor.

According to Kudo Tsunoda, corporate vice president at Microsoft, the upcoming VR hardware showcases augmented reality games. HoloLens' built-in games are Fragments, Young Conker, and RoboRaid -- previously demonstrated at E3 as Project X-Ray.

Billions of dollars are now pouring in the virtual reality business. Many tech companies are racing to develop the most advanced VR technology. HTC Vive, Samsung's Gear VR, Oculus Rift and Microsoft's HoloLens are some of the top-class VR devices that will be available in the market. Augmented reality is expected to grow into a $90 billion industry by 2020, estimates from Fortune show.


Tags : Microsoft HoloLens, Microsoft HoloLens update, Microsoft HoloLens release date, Microsoft HoloLens specs, Microsoft HoloLens pre-orders