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Microsoft's HoloLens Is Now On Sale To Anyone In The US Or Canada (computerworld.com) 53

Microsoft is now selling its augmented reality headset dubbed HoloLens to anyone in the United States or Canada for $3,000 a pop. Computerworld reports: Until now, HoloLens was available only to developers and companies through Microsoft sales reps, but starting Tuesday, anyone in the U.S. or Canada can buy up to five headsets online through the Microsoft Store. There was no word about availability in other countries. The HoloLens now on sale is the same developer edition that has been offered to Microsoft partners, and buyers are asked to acknowledge before completing purchase that they understand it's not a finished product intended for consumers. Microsoft also asks buyers to agree not to resell the product and acknowledge that no refunds are available. The move should expand the community of developers working to build apps and other content for the headset before a consumer version is officially available.
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Microsoft's HoloLens Is Now On Sale To Anyone In The US Or Canada

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02, 2016 @05:56PM (#52631941)

    Yeah, I'm sure a 3000 dollar test unit will have tons of developers lining up to use it, not to mention all the developers that got screwed over developing for Windows Phone.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    No way is that headset worth that kind of money. The viewport within which the 'holograms' appear is just too small.

    Ridiculous.

  • Why would anyone buy a hololens for just augmented reality for $3000, when you can get a full blown VR setup with the HTC Vive for $800?

    • by smelch ( 1988698 ) on Tuesday August 02, 2016 @06:27PM (#52632071)
      I agree $3000 is really steep, especially for the product. It's rather disappointing so far. The field of view just isn't there. However, the implication that VR is somehow greater than AR I strongly disagree with. I think AR is a much harder problem to solve and has really great potential applications. I think people are ready to start moving away from their all-digital worlds and in to something grounded in the physical world a little more. People don't like having their phone in their face all day, or staring at a computer screen all day. There just isn't a better way to get the information they want at the time they want it. VR (so far) is just further isolation from your physical world by moving your body in to the digital world, whereas AR is bringing your digital world out in to the physical world.
      • by MrBigInThePants ( 624986 ) on Tuesday August 02, 2016 @06:55PM (#52632207)
        I don't think they are directly comparable. This is apples and pears. (not oranges as the concepts are somewhat related)

        I think there is a place for both - in fact I am not sure why so many people are missing this as it seem blatantly obvious to me. Hell, maybe in the distant future there will be a single device capable of both.
        In fact I find arguments that are merely penis measuring competitions between the two to be wholly ridiculous.

        Having said that, if you compare the PROMISE of the technology compared to the implementation I would say that it is clear that MS AR is the one severely lacking. Especially when one considers their marketing hype versus the reality. VR is living up to its tech promise - I am ignoring price here as this is irrelevant to my point.

        But again, these are two separate technologies that have overlap but in practice have very different application.
        • Arguably the Vive could be capable of both. I haven't heard of anything that does this, and I'm not even sure if the software allows apps access to it at all, but the built in camera certainly COULD be used for AR, though I'm not sure if the resolution is high enough for it to be good AR.
      • by Theaetetus ( 590071 ) <theaetetus.slash ... com minus distro> on Wednesday August 03, 2016 @12:07AM (#52633581) Homepage Journal

        I agree $3000 is really steep, especially for the product. It's rather disappointing so far. The field of view just isn't there. However, the implication that VR is somehow greater than AR I strongly disagree with. I think AR is a much harder problem to solve and has really great potential applications. I think people are ready to start moving away from their all-digital worlds and in to something grounded in the physical world a little more. People don't like having their phone in their face all day, or staring at a computer screen all day. There just isn't a better way to get the information they want at the time they want it. VR (so far) is just further isolation from your physical world by moving your body in to the digital world, whereas AR is bringing your digital world out in to the physical world.

        As someone with a Vive, I definitely agree. The Vive is great for fully escaping into a digital world, and the sense of immersion is amazing. Just last weekend, I lost several hours playing in a few different apps and was shocked to take off the set and find it was dark and I missed usual dinner time.

        But I'd also love to have a system that I could use for work. I've been looking at Bloomberg's Oculus Rift multiscreen experiments, as well as solutions like Virtual Desktop, and while those are great for, again, disappearing into a virtual workspace, nothing offers something that could work in an office environment: specifically, something with multiple virtual screens that I could surround myself with to view multiple documents and PDFs simultaneously, but still be "aware" when someone pokes their head in my office. AR (or a VR headset with low-latency front facing cameras) offers that possibility.

        That said, this offering is disappointing, both from a price point and from the offered apps on the website. $3000 is too much for anyone but a developer who expects to earn money back from being an early adopter, and the current apps all seem to be either "project a video on a wall" or "play with 3D modeling" and are useless for typical work. How about "place documents in midair"? It should be easy, given that they're 2D and (other than scrolling) static images. Be able to do that with a dozen documents at once, and you've got a multi-monitor replacement.

    • That's if you already have the beefy PC required for VR with the Vive.

      Getting a good PC besides the Vive headset can put the price around $1800-2000 USD.

      Still less than 3000 bucks for the Hololens, though.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Because VR is a dead end. VR makes the vasst majority people throw up within 15 minutes of use due to the disconnect between what the eye sees and the inner ear senses. There is no way to solve that problem with VR. AR is the way to go, but $3000 is ridiculous.
      • by Holi ( 250190 )
        "VR makes the vasst majority people throw up within 15 minutes"

        Claims like that require some sort of supporting evidence. So source? or admit to making things up.
  • by PJ6 ( 1151747 ) on Tuesday August 02, 2016 @07:27PM (#52632393)
    I've had the privilege to develop on one, and I can say that the technology just isn't there yet. Not even close.

    The dev tools are also half-assed and unstable.

    Sit on your money for now, even if you have it to burn.
    • To be fair, it could well be that the technology could be there and the tools could be stable and either not being ready for prime time is the usual MS inability to deliver a stable product.

  • I tried one at a Home Depot that was used for kitchen visualization of remodel options, and it was underwhelming.

    Maybe they didn't use it to its full "coolness" potential or maybe I've been desensitized by all the hype, but overall I wasn't impressed. I can see where it would make for some pretty cool gaming applications, though.

    But $3000 a unit? It's not going to be on my shopping list anytime soon at that price.

  • I would want one for?

The computer can't tell you the emotional story. It can give you the exact mathematical design, but what's missing is the eyebrows. - Frank Zappa

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