Microsoft Launches Pre-order for HoloLens and Meta Follows Suit

After a long waiting period, we can finally see the Microsoft HoloLens device being offered for pre-order. The HoloLens device is an augmented reality headset with two displays and some form of holographic technology that Microsoft has not yet got around to explaining in detail. It may be safe to assume that the holographic part is more related to the optical combiner that’s used than an actual holographic display. Nevertheless, the device is the most highly anticipated AR product rolling out this year.

Similar to Google Glass, Microsoft is making this device available for developers only, at this time. If you thought that the Google Glass price for the explorer version was high, think again. Microsoft is asking $3,000 for the HoloLens device with first devices shipping by the end of March 2016. One should also be aware that you cannot just buy the HoloLens, you have to apply for the device. Pre-requisites are, you have to be a developer living in the US and Canada, you have to be a Microsoft Insider. Also be aware the developer edition hardware and apps are available in English only at this time.

Source: Meta Glasses

Shortly after the Microsoft announcement, Meta announced their newest headset (Meta 2) as being available for pre-order as well. In contrast to the Microsoft device, which is a standalone device with own computing capability, the Meta 2 is a tethered device, relying on an external computing device to provide the content. The Meta 2 will not be available until the third quarter 2016, but will only set you back $949 for the developer kit.

The Meta 2 offers a 90º field of view and a resolution of 2560 x 1440. However they are not saying if this is per eye or as a total. The design is a definitely fighting with the HoloLens for the most space-inspired design.

Overall the two devices are addressing two very different markets and applications, with the HoloLens aiming more at a general usability market and Meta 2 addressing the professional design market. However, we are still all in the developer kit phase. – NH