With Windows, holograms are Universal Windows apps and all Universal Windows apps can be made to work on Windows holographic
Developer applicants are now beginning to receive invitations to purchase the Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition, which will begin shipping on 30 March in the US and Canada for $3,000.
HoloLens, Microsoft’s fully untethered holographic computer, was announced one year ago, and the company has spent the past year focused on connecting with developers and commercial customers.
The APIs responsible for holographic computing are already available in Windows 10, and now developers have access to documentation, and to the developer community, that will help them create holographic experiences.
Additional development tools that include Visual Studio projects and a HoloLens emulator will be released when HoloLens devices start shipping to customers at the end of this month. The emulator will allow developers to test holographic apps on their PC without a physical HoloLens and comes with a HoloLens development toolset to help developers who have not yet received their devices to get started right away.
Technical fellow for new device categories in the operating system group at Microsoft, Alex Kipman, said in a blog: “We believe that the future is holographic, and as a result, we will continue to empower the developers who will help bring that future to life. The investments that developers have made in our Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps will carry forward. With Windows, holograms are Universal Windows apps and all Universal Windows apps can be made to work on Windows holographic. Similarly, holographic apps in the Windows Store can be monetised in the same way that all other UWP apps are today.”
Microsoft has already introduced new partners including Volvo Cars, Autodesk Fusion 360 and has continued to make progress in its partnerships with Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic, Trimble, and NASA. The NASA is mission operational with the Mars OnSight project Microsoft announced jointly on 21 January 2015, using HoloLens to help explore the surface of Mars. HoloLens is also in use by astronauts in space after NASA successfully delivered HoloLens to the International Space Station to aid in its Project Sidekick work.
Developers who purchase HoloLens will have immediate access to hundreds of UWP apps through the Windows Store, including apps such as OneDrive, Maps, Remote Desktop, People, Movies & TV, Groove Music and Microsoft Office apps.
The Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition also gives developers access to a showcase of holographic app experiences to help get them started. These experiences are designed to demonstrate what the device can do, and how it operates, in order to inspire developers to create, the company said.