We had heard that the Microsoft HoloLens was going to be priced at around $3000, but we now have official confirmation. The pre-order is now up and running but if you are planning to pick one up from the store, we have bad news for you. This is the Developer Edition and unless you were one of the beta testers in the Windows Insider Program, you are not even “qualified” to apply for one, let alone buy it. Microsoft will select a few interested developers from the beta testers list and even they will not be allowed to order more than two at this time. The units will start being shipped out on March 30 and all shipments will probably reach their destinations by April.
The HoloLens sports decent specs like an Intel CPU (32-bit), 2GB of RAM, 64GB SSD HDD and the revolutionary Holographic Processing Unit termed HPU 1.0 in short. Although this essentially makes the HoloLens a standalone device unlike other VR headsets like the Oculus Rift, it will need support from Visual Studio 2015 and Unity gaming engine version 5.4 on a Windows 10 powered PC in order to develop applications. The added hardware within the HoloLens also makes it slightly heavier than its competition at 1.3 pounds.
A major improvement was made on the HoloLens as it can now measure the distance between the two eyes of the user automatically. It was quite cumbersome to input this little data manually, each time someone tried it out at the official demonstration in 2015. It would be difficult to explain exactly how the HoloLens works due to the unavoidable techno-babble that will come with it. Simply put, there are two HD light engines built into the headset that produces all the images that the user sees while wearing the headset. The clear waveguide lenses in front of the headset permit light from around the user to merge with the holographic images produced by the light engines. This in brief is how the augmented reality of the HoloLens is achieved.
Stay tuned for more news as the HoloLens becomes accessible to more and more people over the course of the next few months.