Microsoft is now accepting applications from developers interested in building apps and experiences for HoloLens, the company’s mixed reality headset. Unlike some of the competition in the VR space, Microsoft won’t be handing these out to just anyone.
The dev kit will consist of a fully untethered wearable like the one it showcased at E3 over the summer meaning it’ll likely still be somewhat hindered by a narrow field of view.
The first batch of HoloLens kits will be sold on an invite-only basis priced at $3,000 and will ship early next year. It’s unclear how many units Microsoft initially plans to distribute or what sort of qualifications devs must meet. By limiting who gets access, the Redmond-based company is likely hoping to control the quality of early apps as to not make the technology look bad.
We do know that Microsoft is limiting the number of devices sold per applicant to two although it’ll likely bend those rules a bit for large companies.
During its Windows 10 hardware event earlier today, Microsoft publically showcased its augmented reality shooter Project X-Ray for the first time (the game made it to E3 but didn’t make a public appearance). Equipped with a holographic weapon attached to your arm, players do battle with robots that emerge from the wall. The enemies interact with the environment and each other making each game unique to your play space.
No word yet on when a consumer version is coming or how much it might cost. In the interim, we can look forward to seeing what early developer partners come up with using the cutting-edge tech.
Microsoft also revealed its second generation fitness tracker, the Microsoft Band. The wearable features a curved AMOLED display coated in Gorilla Glass 3 with stainless steel fasteners and 11 total sensors that make it much more capable than its predecessor.
It’s compatible with Android, iOS and Windows Phone devices and adds Cortana integration for the first time. There’s also plenty of third-party app integration including support for Facebook and Uber and even an extensive golf measurement feature that Microsoft says is like having a personal caddy strapped to your wrist.
We’re told that the new Band is good for up to two days of runtime on a single charge with average use.
Look for the new Microsoft Band to break cover on October 30 for $249. It’s available for pre-order as of writing from the Microsoft Store.