Augmented and virtual reality equipment is often something you have to try to believe in, and Microsoft knows this. That’s probably why it’s preparing to take its next-generation display technology on tour.
The company revealed today that it will travel 11 North American cities starting this week and running through November. This will give many developers their first chance to get a demonstration of the HoloLens headset’s “mixed reality” capabilities. While plenty of people have seen the stage presentations, many more will likely want to try it themselves before paying $3,000 for the newly announced Development Edition HoloLens hardware.
Microsoft is already showing off the HoloLens in its hometown of Seattle today, and it will continue to do so through Friday. Then it’s on to Canada, the Rockies, the Midwest, and beyond.
Here’s the full tour schedule:
- Seattle: October 13-October 16
- Toronto: October 19-October 22
- Salt Lake City: October 20-October 22
- Chicago: October 26-October 29
- San Francisco: October 26-October 30
- Los Angeles: November 2-November 5
- New York City: November 2-November 5
- Minneapolis: November 9-November 11
- Phoenix: November 10-November 12
- Atlanta: November 17-November 19
- Austin, Texas: November 17-November 20
You can register now by clicking over to Microsoft’s website.
Clearly, Microsoft is trying to get developers involved in HoloLens at an early stage. The tech is impressive, according to those who have tried it, but it is also still about five years off from fully launching as a consumer product.
All of this means Microsoft wants small, creative developers to help define what HoloLens really is. But unlike the Oculus Rift VR head-mounted display, which has a development kit for $350, developers have to overcome quite the sticker price. Few small teams can afford to throw $3,000 toward development hardware for a market that might not truly generate significant revenues for a few years.
Microsoft, however, knows that the HoloLens’ best quality is that it mostly works as advertised, and seeing that in person might shock enough studios to pull out their credit cards to have the opportunity to get in at the earliest stages of our AR future.