Microsoft wants developers to begin creating the environments that will one day be playable on HoloLens for consumers, announcing a developer kit at its event earlier this week.
The HoloLens developer kit will cost $3,000 (£1,960) and developers need to get in touch for an invite. Similar to Oculus, Google Glass, and Project Morpheus, this is expected to be a very open beta, for all types of developers, engineers, and fans.
A demo at the Microsoft event showed the capabilities of what it calls “mixed reality”, where it takes part of the real world and adds virtual elements. The game, Project X-Ray, is all about fending off an alien invasion in your home -- similar to Magic Leap’s office battle.
Microsoft is focused on more than just gaming for HoloLens, with Satya Nadella saying it could transform industries like engineering, healthcare, and education.
NASA is already working on projects with HoloLens, sending a few headsets up to the International Space Station. Microsoft wants to have more of these partnerships in the future, to build the ecosystem of HoloLens.
Augmented reality provides much more than virtual reality for developers outside of gaming, since it can take parts of the real world. Doctors were one of the few groups that invested money and time into building apps for Google Glass, as it provided a POV view of dissections and other medical exams.
HoloLens could be used in a similar way, though the design of the headset is much larger than Google Glass. Nest might also be working on ways to surpass HoloLens in power while retaining the same simplistic design on the second version of Google Glass, now called Project Aura.