If you’ve been paying attention to Microsoft’s Hololens announcements over the past year, you know that it is an incredible leap forward in the mixed reality entertainment category. The system is an untethered headset that both senses the room around you and holographically projects high definition images and animations on top of your existing surroundings with which you can interact. With applications already in place for the education sector as well as NASA, this marks Microsoft’s next big step in familiarizing the most important people with their new technology—namely, content creators.
It’s that content that will truly put Hololens on the cutting edge of consumer technology. We’ve seen incredible things being done with Virtual Reality, but the augmented reality that Hololens makes possible somehow feels even fresher. Thanks to demos that Microsoft has shown off over the past year, we’ve seen what the Hololens is capable of accomplishing, in the realm of video games and beyond. From the Young Conker demo that puts a rascal of a squirrel into a platforming adventure all around your living room to the mystery-solving Fragments that places clues in your home that enable you to solve a mystery. These are early applications made in-house by Microsoft’s own software engineers. Allowing outside developers to finally get their hands on the new hardware and push it to the limits.
It’s not just third-party developers that have us excited for Hololens. Microsoft is an official partner of the NFL - you’ve seen those blue Surface tablets on the sidelines of games - and they certainly have big things in store for how we’ll be interacting with sports—though they’ve been mighty hushed up about it from the beginning. We expect to start seeing NFL Hololens integration as some of the earlier content was available when Hololens becomes a consumer product and success on that front can mean integration across viewerships of all pro sports within a few years.
The Hololens Development Edition went on pre-order yesterday for developers and commercial partners with orders set to ship on March 30th. That means we should all keep our eyes peeled for new and amazing Hololens offerings to start cropping up this spring and beyond. At $3,000 for the Development Edition, we’ll also be keeping a lookout for a final price and release date of the consumer edition. Fingers crossed that it’s a bit more accessible since we’re lusting over it already.