back to article Microsoft's HoloLens: Here by 2016, mere three THOUSAND dollar price

Microsoft has been showing off its latest toys at a New York press conference – and HoloLens is looking likely to be out by the end of next year. Redmond announced that the HoloLens developer kit is available for preorder from today, with delivery in the first quarter of 2016. It's not cheap, $3,000 per kit, but it looks as …

Price

The price given at the announcement is for the dev kit, not the retail version.

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Re: Price

True but the Oculus dev kit is $350. It's hard to capture developer (or early adopter) hearts and minds if you make the dev kit so prohibitively expensive that they can't or won't buy it.

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Unhappy

Re: Price

3k ........ Waaaaaaaaaaaa

Right I'm off to Soho to try and make some money.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Price

Holograms and "hand wrap around"s

Hmmmmm

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Re: Price

The Oculus has to be connected to a PC, which does most of the work. The HoloLens is a standalone device.

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Re: Price

>>"True but the Oculus dev kit is $350."

* The Oculus is a couple of months from launch. This is an early beta.

* The Oculus is small screens in front of your eyes connected to a GPU in your computer. This is essentially a super-light computer that you wear.

* The Oculus is a VR device. This is an AR device. These things are not the same thing. They serve different purposes and work in different ways and have different demands.

* Approx. £2,500 is not that much for something focused on professional development houses which is what this is. The Oculus is being used for games right now and home hackers - it's essentially a pre-release product at this point.

But mainly and most of all, AR is not the same as VR. Different goals and different challenges.

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Re: Price

Perhaps a better price comparison is with Google Glass. That was $1500, rather more than Occulus, half the price of Hololens.

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Re: Price

"* The Oculus is a couple of months from launch. This is an early beta."

And it it wasn't when DK 1 and DK 2 were released. It's not a valid point.

"* The Oculus is small screens in front of your eyes connected to a GPU in your computer. This is essentially a super-light computer that you wear."

Oh you mean like a phone? It doesn't justify the cost. Furthermore, if it is more like a super-light computer it bodes ill for the retail price of this thing if/when it finally sells. It bodes so ill in fact that I wonder if this is Project Natal / Kinect all over again where the final product was severely gimped to make it affordable.

"The Oculus is a VR device. This is an AR device. These things are not the same thing. They serve different purposes and work in different ways and have different demands."

They might serve different purposes. I don't see how that conflates with the fact that the dev kit costs 10x as much.

* Approx. £2,500 is not that much for something focused on professional development houses which is what this is. The Oculus is being used for games right now and home hackers - it's essentially a pre-release product at this point."

That's not a valid excuse for a several reasons.

1) Microsoft is trying to pitch this thing at games - witness various demos they've made of it for that purpose, e.g. minecraft video. In fact they're on record as justifying buying Minecraft for hololens. And their plans include XBox One front and centre and it's hard to imagine that the device would possibly succeed or achieve mass market sales otherwise.

2) Denigrating the Oculus doesn't remove the point that their dev kit is and has been 1/10th of this thing.

3) Even if we were to say the hololens is more complex, that still doesn't justify the honking disparity in the price of the kit or that its a barrier of entry. And if this disparity carries over into production then woe betide them. VR will be a hard enough sell (which IMO will fail). Something costing more again isn't going to do any better.

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Re: Price

>>"Perhaps a better price comparison is with Google Glass. That was $1500, rather more than Occulus, half the price of Hololens."

That's a much more sensible comparison than Occulus as Google Glass is in the same category of HoloLens. HoloLens is a lot more sophisticated though. Google glass was essentially a small projector extension that provided a 2D overlay onto one of the eyepieces. HoloLens is a great deal more sophisticated both in terms of display and in terms of processing power and software. Have you seen that demo where HoloLens is projecting a Minecraft game ONTO a table. I don't mean as a flat image, I mean that you can turn or tilt your head and walk around the table and see the 3D blocks piled up on that table shift in perspective as if they were there? HoloLens is much more than putting 2D txt messages on a lens. But this isn't me arguing a point with you - you simply stated facts. I'm just adding why I think the two should not lightly be compared. In fact, I'd go further - with HoloLens being so much more than Google Glass, I think double the price for a developer kit works pretty well.

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Re: Price @DrXym

You seem wedded to your initial post despite all the flaws in it. In response to your points:

>>Even if we were to say the hololens is more complex, that still doesn't justify the honking disparity in the price of the kit or that its a barrier of entry

Firstly lets dispense with the weasel words. There's no "even if..." The HoloLens IS more complex than Oculus Rift. The Oculus is a display that you connect a GPU up to. The HoloLens is far more than a display. It has high end processor, GPU, a custom-designed chip for integrating the input from its camera with sound signals (which it has tiny speakers for rather than normal headphones as it's designed to augment ambient sounds) and movement, et al. It uses Kinect technology to handle gesture recognition and the software handles interaction of the AR objects with real-world physical objects. Just attempting to equate the two betrays a wilful bias. As to "barrier to entry", honestly $3000 is peanuts to all but the amateur developer. Even a small development house will eat that easily.

>>And if this disparity carries over into production then woe betide them. VR will be a hard enough sell (which IMO will fail). Something costing more again isn't going to do any better.

Again, this wilful ignorance in conflating VR with AR. Different technologies and different purposes. I don't think VR will fail, btw. For games it is amazing. But that's an aside. The point is that being able to casually share what you're seeing with an expert or colleague somewhere remote and also have them drawing arrows or highlighting things in your vision as one small example of how AR will be used, is not the same category as playing Elite Dangerous in VR for example. There is no basis to say "well if it costs £300 to play a game in VR, a doctor certainly wouldn't pay twice that to be able to conference with the hospital consultant when examining a patient". It's an utterly nonsensical argument that makes me question just how stupid you can be.

>>Oh you mean like a phone? It doesn't justify the cost. Furthermore, if it is more like a super-light computer it bodes ill for the retail price of this thing if/when it finally sells

Yes, like a phone. Many people buy subsidised phones on contract and don't look at the actual full price. An iPhone 6 unlocked costs around £550. Now imagine that instead of being a mature product in mass production by the million, it was a limited run thing not even pre-release and they'd only made 20,000 of the things. How much do you think it would cost then? Again, your analogies are dreadful and contrived only to try and damn the fact that the HoloLens development kit costs $3,000 which really isn't that much. It's even in the reach of home developers if they really want it, let alone actual companies. You have no idea how this sector works at all. Either that or you're hopelessly biased and think everyone else here is an idiot.

And it it wasn't when DK 1 and DK 2 were released. It's not a valid point.

Okay, you think you can make statements about final costs of HoloLens from an early beta and you're justifying that by comparisons to a different product in a different category which, despite what you say actually didn't start off at the same price as it happens. Oculus began with a $2.5m kickstarter to front-load it with cash. Those who contributed less than $300 subsidised those that paid more. But that's minor details which I shouldn't even bother correcting because it takes away from the point that your fundamental approach is wrong.

>>"Denigrating the Oculus doesn't remove the point that their dev kit is and has been 1/10th of this thing."

Okay, I am NOT denigrating the Oculus in any way or form. It's great. I think it will be a big success. I also think it will be a huge boost to the GPU industry (especially AMD who sorely need it). Do NOT put words into my mouth. Pointing out that they are very different products with different technologies and goals is NOT denigrating anything. Do NOT pretend that you are somehow defending Oculus against HoloLens. All you are doing is making silly comparisons that harm both.

>>Microsoft is trying to pitch this thing at games - witness various demos they've made of it for that purpose, e.g. minecraft video. In fact they're on record as justifying buying Minecraft for hololens. And their plans include XBox One front and centre and it's hard to imagine that the device would possibly succeed or achieve mass market sales otherwise.

Hard to imagine for you, maybe. I can think of dozens of non-game uses for HoloLens and MS have been demonstrating such uses. Yes, that includes games. It is not limited to games. And again, you're hopelessly muddled in your thinking and floundering around for ways to make Oculus and HoloLens sound like they're attempting the same thing. Games for HoloLens wont be the same as games for Oculus. AR is not VR and I don't see a lot of overlap in terms of how games will make use of them. Imagine doing a space simulator or first person shooter in AR. It's a nonsense idea - you'd be watching semi-transparent people running around overlaid on your walls and desk which would be swinging around you with no connection to the world you were playing in. But no, because MS want to have Minecraft playable on your carpet, or have several friends sitting around the dining room table playing a real time strategy game on it, your limited brain goes "but these and FPS and Simulators are all games - therefore Oculus and HoloLens are similar. MUST POST ON REGISTER!"!

There are few people on this forum as stupid as you.

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Re: Price @DrXym

in addition to the above...

The Oculus is a display that you connect a GPU up to.

not just any gpu, it's titan(z?) only.

so you can add at least a grand to your $350

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Re: Price @DrXym

"You seem wedded to your initial post despite all the flaws in it. In response to your points:"

No I'm wedded to my initial post because it's a reasonable appraisal of where things stand.

"There are few people on this forum as stupid as you."

Grow up.

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Re: Price

"Perhaps a better price comparison is with Google Glass. That was $1500, rather more than Occulus, half the price of Hololens."

Yes and Google Glass took the world by storm didn't it?

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Re: Price

"Yes and Google Glass took the world by storm didn't it?"

The $1,500 price tag despite the bill of materials for the parts being only a little over $150. Maybe people felt the issue of a 2d overlay shouldn't cost that much.

Funny that google dropped glass on 15 Jan 2015 and Hololens was announced Jan 25th ....

I may be reading into that, but I would say they knew what was coming and knew MS had beat them hands down on AR, although I still believe the Glass has a place in techland and would still like a pair.

Given the choice though .... Bye Bye glass Hello Holo

And having a high cost for the Dev kit helps ensure you don't have every Tom Dick and Harry going out and thinking quick lets make a bunch of shitty apps with prancing dogs and adverts, (yes in future it will most likely be a problem) But it will ensure that with a decent cost involved people are going to look to maximise the return on investment and make some high quality apps, (im looking at you android store !!!)

Oh you mean like a phone? It doesn't justify the cost. Furthermore, if it is more like a super-light computer it bodes ill for the retail price of this thing if/when it finally sells. It bodes so ill in fact that I wonder if this is Project Natal / Kinect all over again where the final product was severely gimped to make it affordable.

No not at all, more like i7 territory with Nvidia GPU's & Liquid cooling (hopefully without searing all your hair off) I would be very surprised if these machines were light at all (no pun intended;)).

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Coat

robots breaking through walls

Do a version of the film Ring - never sleep again.

Some impressive looking kit from MS today though.

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Windows

Not going to happen

"""Yet, with the right developers, Microsoft might well have a winner on its hands."""

Not going to happen, not at that price, and not with MS's classic "openness".

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Re: Not going to happen

The XBox 360 dev kit costs tens of thousands and whoah, yeah, you're absolutely right! Nobody at all bought one or developed any games for it, so MS never actually sold a single XB360. Not one, because the dev kit was too expensive!

Seriously? WTF is wrong with you?

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Re: Not going to happen

Yeah, I heard EA and Rockstar were short of cash.

Then you get into software houses for professionals, I'm sure they're all skint too.

Seriously, it's not all about the guy sat in his room developing on his own. In time it might not be, but to start with, leave it to the pros with the bankroll.

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Re: Not going to happen

>>"Seriously, it's not all about the guy sat in his room developing on his own. In time it might not be, but to start with, leave it to the pros with the bankroll."

Hopefully $3,000 is cheap enough that small players and even independent developers can get involved if they want to, though. If you have the skills to develop independently for HoloLens then $3,000 probably equates to a working month for you at least. (If not, the job market is looking for you - get out there!). Your costs to develop something for HoloLens are going to be way more than $3k just because of the market value of your development time alone.

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Re: Not going to happen

To put the price into perspective look at the amount of money people are willing to spend on consumer/prosumer camera gear. A "basic DSLR setup" well below the "professional grade" can easily cost around 3000€ ("Full frame": EOS 6D, Tamron 24-70VC and 70-200VC, chances are you add a UltraWide Lense or some fast primes later, going APS-C a similar Kit with a 70D is still easily around 2000€) Professionals pay 2500+ for the camera alone (EOS 5D3)

Or if you want software: A complex graphics package for graph/bpml etc. has licencing costs of 7000-14000€ plus a yearly charge for upgrades in the 1500-3000€ range depending on what features you buy. Still even small/mid sized companies buy that if the see a potential market. Cost of doing business.

So 3K is "peanuts" for a developer/company that sees use for AR applications and even some "interested amateurs" might be willing (and able) to spend the money. And depending on a few features/elements one can see quite a few commercial and semi-commercial applications for this little beast.

Oh and the "openness" never has been a problem for those targeting the MS platform. The MS Dev tools are quite useable and rugged and Windows still is THE client platform in the company environment (where AR will likely appear first). What counts more is a good and easy integration in existing environments. Ie how difficult is it to link HoloLens to Outlook/Exchange or integrate Cortana.

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Boffin

Space Age Technology

Could be a lot of outdated crap in there, isn't the "space age" considered to have begun back in the 50's/60's?

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Trust The Register to

.. put a negative spin on a truly amazing product, just because it's Microsoft. Come on guys, you *know* this is a dev-kit price, not an end-user retail thing.

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Re: Trust The Register to

That doesn't fit the agenda. Have you seen elsewhere here how Windows 10 Mobile tries to cram a whole PC into a phone and that's all clunky and horrible?

Meanwhile in reality, it's almost identical to WP8.1 with a better Settings list and a change to the Tile transparency. Seriously, it's not even worth arguing anymore. El Reg knows its audience and for most of them, as long as the copy reads "MS sux lol" they're happy.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Trust The Register to

Oddly, this wasn't at first pitched as "an end-user retail thing" for normal people. It was aimed at architects at work, CAD users, surgeons, and so on. Serious uses with serious budgets and serious prices.

The dev kit costs $3k (as the article says) but we were kinda expecting the final thing to cost in the area of $1k anyway.

C.

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Re: just because it's Microsoft

No, just because it's The Register, and everyone gets short shrift, not just MS. Go and read the bleating under the latest apple security article.

For some reason it's upset you because it's MS and not Apple, Google, Oracle or some other massive corporation having the piss taken. That shows your bias, not el Reg's.

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Re: just because it's Microsoft

> That shows your bias, not el Reg's.

Not at all, MS deserve a lot of what they get. Especially Nadella's weird pronouncements. However, giving the impression that the consumer article costs 3 grand is just low.

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and then there is the Microsoft Surface book

Certainly in MacBook Air territory wrt Spec and price.

If they think that a device at this price will resurect the PC Market then they are sorely mistaken.

They aren't Crapple no matter how much they might try.

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Re: and then there is the Microsoft Surface book

Actually, the Surface Book looks better than the MacBook Air, imo. Touch screen and an OS that takes advantage of that, almost certainly a much more powerful GPU, detachable screen (it's a hybrid). It looks seriously impressive.

(But sadly horribly expensive).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: and then there is the Microsoft Surface book

Looks are subjective; I think they're about as ugly as each other. The Surface Book presents a minor problem for me though: it grabs my leg hair if I use it on my lap when I'm wearing shorts... rather like those stretchy watch bands that grab my arm hair. You may not have that problem, h4rm0ny.

Regarding "almost certainly a much more powerful GPU", you're correct, for one model. The top (tablet) part contains only Intel integrated graphics. The base (keyboard) part comes in two flavours: one with NVidia GPU (GM108?) and one without, both with 52Wh battery (the top has 24Wh battery). The top is lighter than the smaller Surface Pro 3, probably because of the smaller battery -- I think the Pro 3 has a 42Wh battery.

It'll be interesting to see this benchmarked.

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Re: and then there is the Microsoft Surface book

>>"Looks are subjective; I think they're about as ugly as each other. The Surface Book presents a minor problem for me though: it grabs my leg hair if I use it on my lap when I'm wearing shorts... rather like those stretchy watch bands that grab my arm hair. You may not have that problem, h4rm0ny"

Well not to get too personal, but no, I don't have that problem. However, posting mainly to clear up that when I wrote "looks better than..." I was referring to specifications and design considerations, rather than aesthetics. I find both a little drab visually as I have never much liked brushed aluminium finishes.

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re. battery life

If you're serious about walking around the room, shooting robots, etc. then you'd be happy to wear a battery belt. It would add to the 'realism' and let you think you were wearing an ammunition belt or carrying a spare gun.

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cambsukguy@hotmail.co.uk

Well, they may sell an add on belt full of batteries and call it a utility belt

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Re: re. battery life

Also, if you're going to be using this thing, you aren't generally going to be doing so for long periods of time. Simply having batteries you can swap and an external charger would solve it for most.

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Trollface

Re: re. battery life

Re: battery belt (I propose we do it properly and make it a bandolier) - I do believe it would grant the wearer absolutely awesome battery life superpowers, but for the love of $DEITY don't EVER try to enter an airport or a bank wearing one (and absolutely, positively NEVER EVER try to wear it at school)...

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Re: re. battery life

Actually for commercial uses I can see a "complete belt system" with batteries and maybe even an Atom based "PC" (sans display etc) for this. Not as a standard kit but as an add-on for certain environments. Ie logistics or field maintenance personal (Look at a rack / part, system identifies/highlights critical components i.e). These people are used to tool belts or other carried equipment.

Office guys might get a Qi based "wireless" charger that they can put hololense on when going for lunch / coffee / watercooler (or a "Glasses case" with build in batterie and Qi - you'll want a sturdy carry case after all). Or even go for the tool belt approach (I can see quite a few IT guys do that)

MS currently uses games since they are easy to do, show the speed of the system to the "layment" and do not require complex coding compared to useable applications. But AR is more likely to appear in commercial fields first IMHO. Oh, and the military

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Price doesn't matter

As technology improves, price will come down. Maybe by then it will be useful for something other than FPS gaming.

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Re: Price doesn't matter

Actually it IS useful for other things. What MS currently shows is "easy to do eye candy" and "selling it to tech journalists, MBAs and other simple persons" rather than "useful application". We'll see AR like Hololense (and likely HoloLens if MS does the integration into Windows as expected) in commercial (and military) use far earlier than in home/game use (The cheaper VR solutions are "good enough" there).

Just two:

If properly done an AR system that displays messages and/or text into my "field of view" (and maybe acts as a BT headset) would be nice for quite a few use cases. Tied into my TabletPC that (with the power guzzling screen of) is waiting in my briefcase it will be a great "reading emails while in the train/plane" device. Depending on what it can do even a "virtual keyboard" like the old "Laserkey" is doable.

Fire departments here in germany carry "cut here" cards for most cars with them to speed up rescue after a bad crash. Add such a system to the safety visor they have on the helmet and instead of sorting through cards and matching them to the wreck the AR system (talking to a box in the fire truck) highlights the spots (and maybe even recommends tools)

Police: No more typing - just look at the number plate, make a gesture and the system tells you the cars record. And since german ID cards and passports are maschine readable (as are the newer drivers licences) you can do that with personal data as well. Police in germany is on the states level (with a second layer on the national level) so funding is likely better that in the US with the city level police.

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Useful for "reading emails on the plane"?

Guess we'll need to come up with a new name for people like that. Holohole?

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Re: Useful for "reading emails on the plane"?

AssHolo

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@ Doug S

You beat me to it. I was just going to say price doesn't matter either, as I know a number of people who have both Sony and xbox gaming rigs, that is in addition to any gaming latops and or desktops they may have.

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Looking forward to the consumer release

This thing looks tremendous.

The fact that it's not tethered to a PC is also major point in its favour for me.

I have had a GearVR for a couple of months and love it but this will blow it out of the water.

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Will it blend?

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Who cares a bout a few thousand

when you're going to need to be a millionaire just to afford the living room to use it in. I'm serious. Wasn't it reported here that Kinect games were less popular in Europe due to its relative lack of McMansions?

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