Microsoft has started taking pre-orders for the HoloLens Developer Edition since this week and has also revealed a few more details about the VR headset. The $3,000 HoloLens is running Windows 10 as its OS and is powered by a 32-bit Intel CPU and Microsoft’s own Holographic Processing Unit, dubbed HPU 1.0 for now. We have no idea about the model of the 32-bit Intel CPU that is being used in the device as it still remains a secret. There is also a modest 2GB RAM with 1GB reserved for each of the aforementioned processing unit. Microsoft has opted for 64GB NAND flash storage, a 3.5mm audio jack, a surround sound system and a micro-USB port for the HoloLens.
When it comes to sensors, the software giant has been quite generous with them. The inertial measurement unit vital to the device consists of multiple accelerometers and gyroscopes supported by a magnetometer. The total number of cameras on the device is six; with four of them tasked with mapping the environment around the user, one for mapping the depth of field and a 2 megapixel video camera. There is also something that is called a mixed reality capture IC, along with an ambient light sensor and four microphones. All of these things (and perhaps more) come together with the help of the software inside to make interaction with the holographic images of the HoloLens via gazing, gesturing and talking a reality.
The more standard features like Bluetooth 4.1 LE and Wi-Fi 802.11ac are also present and according to what we know so far, the HoloLens can connect to most gadgets via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Under heavy usage, the battery may drain out in 2.5 to 3 hours max, but the good news is that it is perfectly usable while being charged. No application on the HoloLens is allowed to exceed a size of 900MB in an effort to make the 64GB non-expandable memory sufficient. Although the images rendered is limited to 720p at the moment, even that might prove a bit too much at times because Microsoft has warned that the device may overheat on occasions, in which case it will shut down the concerned application. Also, to maintain the 60fps frame rate necessary for augmented reality to function properly, it may even downscale the images at times to 360p.
The HoloLens seems like a work in progress and that’s alright because it is supposed to be that. The developer editions will allow brilliant minds to create applications and experiences for the HoloLens which will slowly take it towards realizing the amazing potential which it holds.