Microsoft is offering U.S. academic researchers a chance to try its augmented reality headgear HoloLens with a new program. Under the program, the tech firm will provide financial support and hardware to projects designed to find new ways to use the new technology.
About the new Microsoft HoloLens research program
Microsoft wants researchers to come up with some extraordinary uses for the HoloLens. This program gives researchers a chance to work with the augmented reality headset, as Microsoft plans to reward five groups with $100,000 and a pair of Hololens development kits, totaling $500,000 and 10 headsets in all.
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Jeannette Wing, a Microsoft Research VP claims that with this program, the firm is looking to see what the researchers can visualize for HoloLens – “from interactively teaching students, to creating mixed-realty art installations, to manipulating holographic data to reveal new relationships… to who knows what.”
Microsoft is hoping that the reward will help in leading to a larger project. This program is open only to researchers in the U.S. working in an institution that is an accredited, non-profit, degree-granting university or a non-profit research institution. In their proposal, researchers need to show their institute is capable of completing the proposed project, and they have to allow Microsoft to make their proposal public if they are selected and awarded. The submission date for the program is September 5th, following which the Microsoft team will choose the proposals to be funded. The winners will be revealed on October 6th.
Microsoft keen to find new uses for HoloLens
The Microsoft HoloLens reward program can be seen as another push from the tech firm to develop more uses for its augmented reality system. The tech firm also partnered with NASA to send its HoloLens to the International Space Station (ISS).
For the HoloLens team, it is not new to work with the college crowd as it has worked with a group at Case Western Reserve University to develop new holographic teaching tools for medical students. At Microsoft’s Build developer conference in April, Case Western Professor Mark Griswold showed the tools that allow a student to get an in-depth look at a model of a human body using the AR headset.
At around 10 am EDT Tuesday, Microsoft shares were down 1.26% at $43.84, and year to date the stock is down almost 7%.