In an event largely anticipated for Microsoft’s launch of its new Lumia Smartphones, the company showed the world its work on augmented reality.
The HoloLens demonstration
In an event held in New York City on Tuesday, a Microsoft employee grabbed a controller and donned “headgear” that is actually a fully untethered, battery-operated Windows 10 running computer that produces computer-generated three-dimensional objects.
Then the game, Project XRay, began. Instantly, the controller turned into a hologram gauntlet with a “vortex weapon” as well as producing a hologram shield a bit later. The reason for this CG arsenal became clear when a horde or robots began bursting through walls and jumping over the furniture that was onstage with the player. The whole scene played out to an impressive display of spatial sound that made the demonstration even more captivating.
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Microsoft’s Terry Myerson was more than happy to then take the stage to explain the HoloLens and what to expect,“We’re bringing an innovative experience not possible on any other device or platform,” he said. “Each room is unique, each game is customized to you,” Myerson added.
Taking a loosely veiled shot at Facebook’s Oculus Rift, Myerson pointed out that, “HoloLens is fully untethered: No wires, no phones, no connection to a PC required.” The Oculus Rift requires each of these items to be more than just a ridiculous pair of oversized blinders.
$3000 HoloLens development kit to ship in early 2016
“Whether it’s for productivity, health care, design, or entertainment, HoloLens creates experiences that aren’t possible on any other device, or any other platform,” Myerson told the crowd explaining why developers from near and far should jump on board.
Potential purchasers, beginning today, will have the opportunity to request a kit with a price tag of $3000. Microsoft will then determine whether they wish to ship one based on the application.
No mention was made as to how many devices the company planned to ship, but did say that all developers will be considered and limited to two headsets. Large scale builders and commercial developers will be examined individually if looking for additional HoloLens(es).
It will clearly be fun to report what those that receive a HoloLens will bring to the new technology once deliveries begin in earnest and boxes are opened.