Microsoft's HoloLens Shipping to Devs Now

App development, augmented.

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Microsoft has announced HoloLens, its augmented reality headset, is shipping to Windows developers and enterprise partners from today, March 30. The announcement was made at Microsoft's Build event, where HoloLens co-creator Kudo Tsunoda appeared on stage to mark the occasion.

A number of companies including Volkswagen, Nasa, Airbus, Audi, and Trimble were revealed to be key supporters of the headset. The first application that will be available is Galaxy Explore, which, as the name implies, allows users to interact with a virtual representation of the galaxy. The source code for Galaxy Explore will also be given to developers to tinker with.

Although HoloLens' gaming applications have been shown in the past, Microsoft used the event to showcase some of the device's other uses. Specifically how medical students can use it to learn about the body, or teachers can use it to conduct class sessions using a virtual representation of themselves.

NASA, meanwhile, detailed applications that were designed to help engineers and showed Destination Mars, which features famous astronaut Buzz Aldrin taking users on a tour of the red planet.

In February, Microsoft detailed the hardware specifications for HoloLens. It also highlighted that HoloLens is "fully untethered and self-contained," which means a PC or console is not required to use it. It also has Windows 10 built into it and can access the application store.

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Microsoft previously opened pre-orders for the HoloLens development kit, priced at $3,000. Additionally, a game featuring a young version of Rare's Conker character has been revealed with a trailer.

During the event, Xbox boss Phil Spencer also made an appearance to announce Xbox One will be getting new features as part of the upcoming Anniversary update to Windows 10. Among these are support for Cortana, the Siri-like virtual assistant, and the ability to play background music on the console. Spencer said more features for the Xbox One would be announced at E3 2016.

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