HoloLens: Microsoft’s Five Year Plan to Conquer Augmented Reality


Microsoft HoloLens is a cordless head mounted Windows 10 computer which advanced sensors, high-definition 3D optical display using holographic lenses, and spatial sound to allow for augmented reality applications, with a natural user interface that the user interacts with through gaze, voice, and hand gestures. HoloLens had been in production for five years prior to its premier in 2015, and the Development Edition will be shipping in the first quarter of 2016 to developers in the United States and Canada costing $3,000 per device.

The release of the HoloLens Development Edition is only the first step in the device’s “five year journey” according to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella; with this, it is important to note that creating an entirely new category in computing is not something you rush or complete overnight.  Microsoft is planning to approach HoloLens with caution and not over exuberance, learning from other companies’ previous mistakes by rushing to market with new hardware which failed to impress audiences.  Releasing this development edition, testing it, creating content, reducing price, and researching target markets will be the key to HoloLens success.

When speaking about target markets for the HoloLens, Nadella noted that enterprises would be the initial target audience. Single applicate use like Auto CAD and real world applications for architecture and industrial design along with health care were all likely users as well. Nadella also noted that the gaming industry will be “reimagined” and pointed out the differences between HoloLens augmented reality versus virtual reality like Oculus Rift.

Interested in getting your hands on the Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition? You’ll need to meet these prerequisites first:

  • You must be a developer in the United States (including Puerto Rico) or Canada where this edition will first be available.
  • You must be a Windows Insider. By participating in the Windows insider program, you agree to provide feedback and work with Microsoft to define the future of holographic computing.
  • You must fluent in English, as the Development Edition is in English only.
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