Microsoft cranks up the HoloLens hype

Microsoft is cranking up the hype for its coming HoloLens augmented-reality glasses a month ahead of kick-off of its developer program for the device.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft is allowing some employees to post short home videos with the #MadeWithHoloLens hashtag to show off more ideas about how the coming augmented-reality technology could be used.

The new videos began showing up on Twitter over the past couple of days. One from @ShireWisdom (Noble Smith) shows a glimpse of an interactive solar system demo. Another from @TheSparkly (Andrea Chang) is of a mime walking along a keyboard. Chang also hashtagged her video clip with #HoloLensHYPE.

The HoloLens video clips come a month before Microsoft allows developers in U.S. and Canada to sign up to request access to HoloLens developer kits, which will be $3,000 a piece, with a limit of two per developer. Those kits will go out to those selected during the first quarter of 2016. There's no public information at this point as to what's included in the kits.

Earlier this week, there was a report from Ynet that said Microsoft had cut 60 people in Israel who were working on the HoloLens. The group affected consisted of 30 full time employees and 30 contractors, the report said, and was part of an Israeli startup Microsoft acquired six years ago. (I'm assuming that acquisition was 3D CMOS camera-chipmaker Canesta, which Microsoft bought in November 2010.) Ynet reported that Microsoft planned to use its own technology in place of that developed by the Israeli team.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has said that Microsoft's first priority with HoloLens will be to get enterprise applications developed for the product. Microsoft's partnership with Autodesk Fusion 360 on an industrial-design offering is an example of the type of application Microsoft is pushing to debut first for HoloLens users.

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