Microsoft HoloLens: New patents reveal future of the VR platform

One of the most noticeable things about Microsoft’s augmented-reality (AR) HoloLens headset is its unique design – lying somewhere between the lithe Google Glass and VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Sony VR.   

Microsoft HoloLens: New patents reveal future of the VR platform

Now Microsoft has locked down that clunky design after winning a number of patents earlier in the week, covering the HoloLens’ arms, optical display and visor. The US Patent and Trademark Office issued all of the patents on Tuesday, just under nine months from when they were originally filed on 20 January – one day before the HoloLens was first revealed.

For all the latest information about Microsoft’s AR headset, read our in-depth look at the HoloLens.

Following Microsoft’s bombastic Windows 10 device event, we now know that Microsoft plans to ship HoloLens to developers in the first quarter of 2016. It won’t be cheap, though, costing a whopping $3,000 per unit. To help convince users that AR is the future, Microsoft will taking its headset on a hands-on tour of the US and Canada throughout October and November.

Microsoft Windows 10 HoloLens consumers 2020 developers 2016

Microsoft HoloLens: The basics

  • Head-mounted augmented reality device
  • Runs on a version of Windows 10 tweaked for holographic devices
  • Expected to be with developers by early 2016

Microsoft HoloLens: Release date

Developers will be able to get their hands on the HoloLens in Q1 2016 for the not-insignificant price of $3,000. As for consumers, time will tell. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has previously stated that HoloLens is on a “five-year journey”, meaning a consumer version could be as far away as 2020.microsoft_hololens_wearable_holographic_1

Microsoft HoloLens: Price

Other virtual-reality headsets are expected to cost from around £300 to £500 – but the HoloLens will probably cost more, seeing as it’s billed by Microsoft as an all-purpose computing tool with work and productivity applications as well as entertainment, in contrast to rivals’ gaming-centric status.

The dev kit will cost $3,000 (£1,941), so that puts a likely launch price within the $1,000 (£649) ballpark.

For information on the HoloLen’s specs and features, head over to our in-depth look.

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