Tag: hololens

Developer version of HoloLens will start shipping this month

The virtual reality headset from Microsoft will be $3,000 and is being made available for pre-order.

Microsoft has now announced that the developer version of its HoloLens virtual reality headset is going to start to ship on March 30, and that it will be sold at a launch price of $3,000.

This will be occurring at a very similar time to the launch of the Oculus VR device from Facebook.

The major difference is that it will be the consumer version of the Oculus that will be released, whereas the HoloLens will be exclusively for developers. The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset will be shipping for $600. That said, while they are both meant to provide users with a VR experience, these two headsets are designed to be quite different. For example, the HoloLens is meant to allow for a more augmented reality experience, where the user will continue to see the real world surrounding him or her and will see three dimensional digital objects overtop of what is already there.

The Oculus Rift is meant to provide a more virtual reality experience compared to the HoloLens augmented reality.

Augmented Reality Technology - Microsoft HoloLensThe Oculus Rift has been designed to block out the view of the surrounding environment so that an entirely digital, 360 degree three dimensional universe can replace it. The Rift, however, must be tethered to a separate computer, whereas the HoloLens operates on its own, based on Windows 10.

Microsoft’s version runs with a custom-built chip that was created for use on an Intel platform. It will also provide users with the ability to record HD video that will not only include the image of the real world, but that will also allow for a digital overlay of holographs. In this way, the user’s view can be shared with other people who don’t actually have the device.

These two major players will clearly become fast rivals in the augmented and virtual reality markets, which remains in its infancy. It will be interesting to watch the progress they make as consumers first get their hands on one device and as developers start to tinker with the other.

HoloLens has a very short battery life, drawing criticism

Microsoft’s augmented reality glasses can run for only up to 5 hours before they need to be plugged in.

A recent presentation made by Bruce Harris, the Microsoft technical evangelist, in Tel Aviv, revealed several pieces of insight about the augmented reality Hololens headset, some of which impressed the tech industry and some of which is turning out to be a bit of a disappointment.

Though many details had been revealed back in October, this recent presentation offered more insight.

Back in the original demonstration of HoloLens by Microsoft, last October, there was a great deal revealed about the function of the augmented reality device. However, some key factors were absent in that presentation, including battery life, pricing and other additional functionalities. Now, the recent Tel Aviv presentation from Bruce Harris has shown a great deal more of the finer points surrounding this gadget.

Harris explained that, depending on its usage, HoloLens will last only 2.5 to 5.5 hours before needing to recharge.

HoloLens Draws CriticismThis suggests that if anyone were to invest in one of these devices, they may also want to have a good portable charger with them, as well. After all, using the headset for routine activities will give the individual only just over five hours. However, when pushing the device a little bit harder, that battery life can shrink down to 2.5 hours. For that to become a practical device it will need to be used alongside an external battery pack.

Harris also went on to say that HoloLens will be capable of running virtually any Universal app and it is currently operating on Windows 10 out of the box. Also pointed out in the presentation was that when the headset becomes consumer ready, it will be “totally wireless” and will be capable of connecting to any Bluetooth device or WiFi network. Of course, if WiFi drains this device as much as it can take down many smartphones and tablets, this will only reinforce the need for a portable charger that will be able to recharge it a few times each day.

When it comes to field of view, the HoloLens should provide an experience that can be compared to that of a 15 inch monitor. This field of view was selected in order to make it possible for Microsoft to provide optimal production capabilities in order to keep costs manageable.