The first HoloLens augmented reality headset went on sale to US developers and businesses earlier this year and Microsoft just announced it's hitting six new countries in the near future. It's available to pre-order now in Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, with shipping in November.
In a market dominated by the virtual reality goodness of the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR, the HoloLens stands alone (for now) as an augmented reality (AR) option, where the real world and 3D graphics combine. Microsoft itself calls it mixed reality, but at this early stage no one's quite decided how these terms are going to be applied.
That means you can cast a browser window of any size up in front of you and have it move as you turn your head (or keep it fixed against the wall). In other demos Microsoft has shown games where aliens invade through your living room walls or Minecraft can be set up on a coffee table, but there's not much in the way of apps ready right now.
Remember we're still talking about the developer edition of the hardware, which means this is an early, unpolished, buggy version of the device. Microsoft wants software coders and hardware partners to get some hands-on time with it to better develop their products, but it's not a deal that most consumers should consider.
Sure, you can fork out a huge wedge of cash for a HoloLens dev kit if you really want to, but be prepared to put up with a limited app selection and some technical issues.
When Microsoft eventually does release a HoloLens for the masses, it promises to be a notable gadget. Unlike the Rift and the Vive, it's completely wireless too, which means you can walk around the world unencumbered by wires and without dragging an expensive gaming PC along behind you.
The HoloLens costs $3,000 dollars in the US. In Australia pricing has been set at AU$4,369, France, Germany and Ireland at €3,299, New Zealand comes in at NZ$4,699, and the cost in the UK is £2,719. If you live in one of those countries you can pre-order directly from the Microsoft Store now.
Microsoft welcomes international developers to the HoloLens community in the video below.
Product page: Microsoft HoloLens
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