Microsoft is in the spotlight right now for the brilliant launch of Windows 10 for mobile devices with the Lumia 950 being the flagship, as well as for the launch of the Surface Book aka the Surface Pro 4 and the Microsoft Band 2. The company’s most interesting and innovative project, however, remains the Microsoft HoloLens augmented reality headset, which is yet to become widely available. Those of you interested in actually getting a HoloLens hands=on under your belts can do so thanks to Microsoft scheduling a series of events throughout October and November in both Canada and the U.S.
The HoloLens hands-on opportunity is only open to developers who might like the chance to see how the hardware works and feels before creating their own augmented reality apps for the Windows store. The HoloLens is an augmented reality headset which projects virtual details onto the real world, in a truly futuristic manner. The device has been announced last year, but the development process is still underway. With the HoloLens hands-on events now confirmed, Microsoft is essentially saying that the headset is close to being ready for commercial release. Asking developers to go hands-on with the device and get in on the fun of actually making apps that take advantage of the augmented reality engine can only mean that all that’s left to do for the device is software optimization.
With the hardware of the HoloLens probably at a final form at this time, developers now have to focus on making their apps compatible with Microsoft’s gear as well as making the experience in their apps immersive and flawless. Microsoft has high hopes for the HoloLens and so does the public, because the demo that the company showcased a couple months back was truly impressive. In the demo, we could see graphic artists designing, makers refining their hardware, fridges hosting a slew of virtual notes complete with animations and photos, sports games projected onto the wall, etc. The concept of the HoloLens is awesome and Microsoft seems to be close to pulling it off.
The HoloLens hands-on event schedule for the U.S. can be found below, and developers interested in participating in any of them can already register for a spot on Microsoft’s website. If they are lucky and get a spot, they will have the chance to see an entirely new HoloLens demo as well as play around with the device themselves. Microsoft also announced that a developer unit of the HoloLens will be available for a whopping $3000 before consumer versions of the product are released.
October 13-16: Seattle, Washington
October 19-22: Toronto, Ontario
October 20-22: Salt Lake City, Utah
October 26-29: Chicago, Illinois
October 26-30: San Francisco, California
November 2-5: Los Angeles, California
November 2-5: New York City, New York
November 9-11: Minneapolis, Minnesota
November 10-12: Phoenix, Arizona
November 17-19: Atlanta, Georgia
November 17-20: Austin, Texas
Although developers are definitely not happy with the HoloLens price for the developer unit, many have expressed interest in developing for the device. Getting hands-on time with the device is valuable to developers because they can examine how the headset works and thus estimate their own development processes for apps. HoloLens will be as strong and popular as the apps that support are, so Microsoft needs to make good with developers if it wants the device to take off. The HoloLens price for consumer variants has not yet been announced, but rumors say the device will most likely go over the $1000 mark once it is released. We’re looking forward to the HoloLens hands-on events and we’ll be back with more from developers after they actually tested the hardware.