When Oculus VR first announced the pre-order cost of $599.00 for it’s Oculus Rift Consumer Version 1 (CV1) unit people kind of flipped out on the price. The early developer kits sold for nearly $150.00 less than the CV1 units. While I am confident that a lot of improvement have been made between the earlier developer kits and the final consumer ready version that justify the higher price point, many other might not agree with me. News recently announced today mentioned that Microsoft is officially opening up pre-orders for their HaloLens headset. If you thought $599.00 was a costly price of entry for the wearable headset market, Microsoft is really going to up the cost.
Before we get into the price for the HaloLens developer kit, it is important to note that the HaloLens and the Oculus Rift are two completely different types of wearable headset. The Oculus Rift is about presenting you screens which immerse you into a game, application or movie which are tied directly to your computer. The HaloLens is a completely different beat. It doesn’t focus so much on 360 degree gaming or video; it is more of an alternate reality device. Instead of having screens displaying images from your computer, you can actually see the world around you and place virtual objects in the real world. As an example, the HaloLens could eventually be used to replace your television set. You could cast a virtual television device using the HaloLens to a certain area of your living room. As you walk around the house, the HaloLens would remember where you placed the virtual television and continue to display the contents of whatever you were watching as you navigate around the room. The technology within the HaloLens is quite amazing. You can also play games with the HaloLens and create 3D words as demonstrated by Microsoft using MineCraft at E3 in 2015. The HaloLens is definitely on its own playing field in terms of what it can do. If you thought Google Glass was cool when it came out and was eventually shelved, you are going to be stunned by all of the things the HaloLens will be capable of.
If you are dying to get your hands on the Microsoft HaloLens, be prepared to drop some serious coin. Microsoft announced the developer kits are going to be available for pre-order for developers who sign up for their Windows Insider Program and fill out an application informing Microsoft why they should be part of the HaloLens developer program. If accepted into the program, you would then need to spend $3000.00 to get the HaloLens developer kit. The HaloLens developer kit comes with the following hardware specifications. The HaloLens itself includes a custom 32-bit processor with 2 GB of memory, a 64 GB storage unit along with four environment-sensing cameras, one depth camera, four microphones, one ambient light sensor, and many other sensors which can assist with measuring movement. The HaloLens also includes a 2-megapixel photo and video camera. This can allow users create videos that combine real-world and holographic images. Also included is a bluetooth controller which will allow users to help control what is going on in their alternate reality environment.
While it is estimated that the HaloLens consumer ready device is still a long way out, it is still a great sign to see Microsoft begin making developer kits to get their technology out to aspiring developers. We hope to see some great content come out for the HaloLens prior to its launch whenever that may be. We also hope Microsoft is able to do the opposite of Oculus VR and sell their HaloLens consumer edition units below the cost of the developer kits.
If you are still hunkering for an Oculus Rift CV1 unit but don’t want to spend over $600.00 for one, you still have plenty of time to enter our free Oculus Rift giveaway! Just sign up today and promote the giveaway on sites like Facebook and Twitter. You know you are already using at least one of those platforms! All you need to do is click a couple of buttons and you are well on your way to qualifying for prizes! We don’t ask you to fill out any surveys or download anything in order to qualify. All you need to do is tell your friends, family or other like minder people about the contest and you could win yourself a free Oculus Rift!