Microsoft has just announced that it will make HoloLens development kits available in the first quarter of 2016. The kits will cost $3,000, and Microsoft is taking applications for them starting today. Exact specs for the kits are still nebulous, but they'll supposedly be "fully untethered," capable of being used without physical cords or a remote PC connection — like the units we tested earlier this year.
We also don't know how many of the kits will be released, but Microsoft has already been working with a small number of professionals, including NASA scientists and architects, to help produce the small catalog it's been showing off since January of 2015. Overall, we've only gotten a taste of HoloLens' possible applications, like Skype and a holographic version of Minecraft. The latest demo is "Project X-Ray," an augmented reality shooter that uses the HoloLens' spatial mapping capabilities to simulate enemies bursting out of a real-world wall. Microsoft brought the game to this year's E3, but it showed it off in public for the first time today.
CEO Satya Nadella has previously said that Microsoft will promote the HoloLens as both a business and an entertainment tool. He has also previously confirmed that a developer version would be available within the next year. A shipping date or price for a consumer version, though, could still be far away.