Remember when you had to go to a tech fair, convention or other public gathering to experience virtual reality? Starting March 30,2016, you can have virtual reality at you doorstep…for a price.
Microsoft’s HoloLens kit is taking pre-orders. These kits will ship to the US and Canada starting March 30. The holographic headset will set you back $3,000. This is only for the HoloLens, charger, Bluetooth 4.1 clicker, carrying case, microfiber cloth, and replacement nose pieces. The software will require a PC, Windows 10 and Visual Studio 2015. The headset alone has four cameras to capture the environment, one to build world maps and one 2MP camera for photography and video camera. The HoloLens has four microphones, ambient light sensor, and an internal measurement system that uses?accelerometers and gyroscopes to detect movement. It has two USB connections. It’s battery life can go for about three active hours without went charges. How much do you expect it to weigh: twenty pounds? ten pounds? Nope. This portable virtual reality kit weighs 1.37 lbs. Apps will include HoloStudio (see this link for explanation) and Skype. Both are Microsoft creations. An app called HoloTour shall provide the HoloLens consumer with trips and sights around the world…without even leaving his/her own home.
The future of virtual reality is here. That’s what Microsoft hopes. Microsoft has invested a lot of time and resources on this. But I think about the potential social ramifications of HoloLens. Could home virtual reality be addictive? Could it be so addictive people abandon their responsibilities, family, and friendships in the real world? I know HoloLens can be a great escapism tool, but sometimes you got to come back down to Earth. Try to imagine a parent forsaking a child’s needs or a boss/manager forsaking their co-workers because they can’t put HoloLens down. This could lead to the breakdown of family, households, workplaces, schools, relationships, and societies. I’m not too crazy about the price either. Is $3,000 worth the price of virtual reality?