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Microsoft really seems to be pursuing the HoloLens technology a bit aggressively. This is good if you're of the mind that this needs to be in the hands of consumers sometime in the near future. Well, one of the big questions is how this will work as a consumer-friendly device, and one of Microsoft's project managers showed just how consumer-friendly it can be.
Kotaku spotted a video by Microsoft project manager, Varun Mani, who posted up the following real-time demonstration of the HoloLens on YouTube. Check it out below.
The video is short and sweet but essentially showcases how HoloLens can be used to link to an Xbox One and stream games... anywhere.
Mani is able to continue his game of Halo 5: Guardians by moving it off the TV screen and projecting it onto the wall. In reality, it's not projecting onto the wall at all. It's just being projected within the ocular visor of the HoloLens headset at set vector of the augmented reality. It gives the impression that you can play the game – or use apps or windows or whatever else – on any applicable surface via remote visual projection.
The concept is pretty cool, but it's very similar to Google Glass.
Mani also dabbles in the comment section, where someone teases the idea of playing multiplayer games from a single console using multiple HoloLens devices. It's a concept that could easily work in theory. Instead of having four-player split-screen on a single television, every player wearing a HoloLens would be able to have their own individual screen without worrying about screen peeking or smaller split-screen windows.
The major drawback to local multiplayer via HoloLens is the cost. As pointed out in the comment section, it would probably be cheaper to just buy multiple Xbox One consoles with multiple Xbox Live accounts as opposed to purchasing multiple HoloLens devices. Why? Because right now the HoloLens development kits are available for the low, low price of $3,000.
Over on the official HoloLens developer portal, Microsoft explains that the developer kits will start shipping out in the first quarter of 2016. This upcoming January Microsoft plans on approving developer applications for the HoloLens devkits. The applications require that developers reside in the continental U.S., Puerto Rico or Canada and that they at least understand English since the developer experiences will only be in English. Meeting those criteria, Microsoft will allow developers to purchase up to two development kits of the HoloLens for $3,000 each.
I still have a hard time seeing how this will be a viable consumer device, but maybe it's going to be targeting the high-end market? I'm sure we'll learn more about the device later on. Right now it's hard to see exactly what practical application Microsoft plans to pitch the device for at its current price. Although, in all likelihood the devkits are extremely expensive but they would likely bring the consumer kits down to around $1,500 or so. We'll see how it all turns out later on in 2016.