As promised, pre-orders have started for the Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition. Invites are being sent out to people who registered to get the hardware and tool. They are designed to offer developers an easy way to make apps for the augmented reality head set. The tools and hardware costs $3,000 and will start shipping on March 30.
In its blog post, Microsoft's HoloLens leader Alex Kipman points out that the HoloLens headset is a self-contained product and does not need a connection to a PC or other device to work:
The device consists of multiple environment understanding sensors and it's powered by a custom-built Microsoft Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) and an Intel 32-bit architecture. The HPU is custom silicon that allows HoloLens to understand gestures and gaze while mapping the world all around you, all in real time.
HoloLens has see-through holographic lenses that use an advanced optical projection system to generate multi-dimensional full-color holograms with very low latency so you can see holographic objects in your world. The key to a great holographic experience is holograms that are light point rich, i.e., they have a high holographic density and are pinned, or anchored, to the world around you. To achieve this, HoloLens has been designed for optimal holographic density of 2.5K radiants. The more radiants and light points there are, the brighter and richer the holograms become.
HoloLens contains advanced sensors to capture information about what you're doing and the environment you're in. The built-in cameras also enable you to record mixed reality captures (MRC) — HD pictures and video of the holograms in the world around you that you can share with others even when they don't have a HoloLens.