Microsoft is expanding availability of its existing HoloLens augmented-reality goggles to six more countries next month. Shipments will begin in November. Microsoft first showed off publicly its HoloLens device in January 2015, and shipped HoloLens developer kits in the U.S. and Canada in late March 2016. At first, device availability was limited to developers pre-selected by Microsoft. In August, Microsoft made HoloLens available to anyone in the U.S. and Canada who was willing to pay the 3,000 for the device.
This is the first book to describe the Microsoft HoloLens wearable augmented reality device and provide step-by-step instructions on how developers can use the HoloLens SDK to create Windows 10 applications that merge holographic virtual reality with the wearer's actual environment. Best-selling author Allen G. Taylor explains how to develop and deliver HoloLens applications via Microsoft's ecosystem for third party apps. Readers will also learn how HoloLens differs from other virtual and augmented reality devices and how to create compelling applications to fully utilize its capabilities.
It felt like an undercover operation: On Tuesday night, while Microsoft executives were rehearsing their keynote presentations for Microsoft Build, I was in a hotel room next door to the conference venue, testing out what everyone would be coming to see: the HoloLens Development Edition. This is actually the third time I've gone hands-on with HoloLens hardware, and it's clear Microsoft has used the last 15 months of HoloLens development to craft a remarkably polished experience. Microsoft has already detailed some of the amazing games and apps that will ship with the HoloLens Development Edition, but last night I demoed something new: a proof-of-concept HoloLens business app for Citi created by a company called 8ninths (I'll cover this experience in detail in an accompanying article). Microsoft plans to let Build attendees use the HoloLens to virtually walk on Mars and play with Actiongrams, but on Tuesday I had a chance to boot up HoloLens and try it out in much less controlled conditions: in the real-world confines of a hotel room. The best part: I still haven't felt the faintest hint of nausea while using HoloLens.
Microsoft's HoloLens 2 feels like practical magic The experience created by the HoloLens 2 is the closest thing to visible magic the tech industry has ever produced. I'm not sure whether to describe my experience with it earlier this week as "hands-on" or "hands-off" since I didn't touch anything that was real. But my hands certainly interacted with things that, but for their luminosity and lack of tactile presence, seemed to be in the real world. Microsoft has rethought many elements of the HoloLens experience. The headset feels lighter, but it is only slightly so.
Unearthing Microsoft's HoloLens feels a little like walking the decks of the Titanic. Three years ago, Microsoft's augmented-reality headset ignited the imaginations of consumers and developers alike with its promise of lifelike animated sprites that could perch on real-world objects. It's almost criminal that Microsoft's original HoloLens demos never saw the light of day. Bending down to peer "inside" a coffee table into the Minecraft underworld was an utterly transformative experience. But at least Microsoft's vision of using the HoloLens as a business tool apparently is alive and well.