Updated: Microsoft’s HoloLens isn’t shipping just yet, but will on March 30

Volvo Cars Microsoft HoloLens
Updated 3/24/2016 8:50 AM:  We reached out to Rafael Rivera, who responded that the tracking information he’d received for his unit was an error, and his unit has not shipped out yet. Microsoft states that it still intends to ship the first HoloLens pre-orders on March 30.

Writer and blogger Rafael Rivera stated on Wednesday morning via Twitter that he has received a shipment confirmation from Microsoft regarding his HoloLens Development Edition unit. Rivera speculates that the device may arrive as early as Wednesday night, depending on the kit’s shipping. So far Microsoft has yet to announce that the developer kits have indeed begun shipping to early testers.

Microsoft’s Alex Kipman announced back on February 29 that Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition would ship on March 30 to those who pre-ordered the device. HoloLens is based on Windows 10, which conveniently already contains APIs needed for holographic computing. The device is also tether-free, allowing users to freely move about without the need for a PC-based ball-and-chain.

As Kipman revealed, HoloLens consists of a special Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) provided by Microsoft, which enables the device to understand gestures and gazes while mapping the surrounding physical environment in real time. The device also sports an Intel-based 32-bit architecture, see-through holographic lenses with an embedded optical projection system, various sensors, cameras for capturing HD video and images combining real scenery with holograms, and Bluetooth 4.1.

Developers that pre-order HoloLens get instant access to apps based on Microsoft’s controversial Universal Windows Platform (UWP) listed on the Windows Store such as Groove Music, Remote Desktop, OneDrive, and more. Developers also have access to holographic app “experiences” and tools such as HoloStudio, an app for creating 3D in 3D at real-world scale. Skype is also compatible with HoloLens, which should provide an interesting communications experience.

In a post published on the Windows Holographic Developer Forum, the administrator revealed that developers are being invited to purchase HoloLens in waves as soon as units are made available. For those that applied, they will receive a notification via email that will provide a status of the application. Once the application receives a green light, developers will receive a “wave number.” Each wave will ship over a period of two to three months, the administrator said.

Finally, if hopeful HoloLens developers received an invitation for the current wave, but may have missed the invitation to order, they can check their status by submitting this form. When it comes time to actually purchase a unit, developers will need to shell out a hefty $3,000. Yikes.

So when will consumers get their hands on Microsoft’s AR headset? That’s the thing: Microsoft has no idea. More specifically, Kipman said during the TED conference in Vancouver that the device won’t be made available to “normal people” until “the world is ready.” While some of us can’t be classified as “normal,” presumably he’s referring to the general public. That said, HoloLens may not arrive until a very, very long time. Bummer.

“If a consumer bought it today, they would have 12 things to do with it,” Kipman told the press. “And they would say ‘Cool, I bought a $3,000 product that I can do 12 things with and now it is collecting dust.’”

Now that developers are reporting that units are beginning to arrive, at least we know we’re on the path to seeing HoloLens in the distant future. Will the consumer-oriented device cost $3,000? If Microsoft waits long enough, perhaps not.

Emerging Tech

Purdue’s robotic hummingbird is nearly as nimble as the real thing

A team of engineers in Purdue University’s Bio-Robotics Lab have developed an impressively agile flying robot, modeled after the hummingbird. Check it out in all its robotic hovering glory.
Cars

Hyundai wants to make sure you’re seeing the outside world, not inhaling it

Hyundai is developing an intelligent air purification system for its cars that continuously monitors the quality of the air inside the cabin, and cleans it when it detects the presence of harmful particulates.
Gaming

Splinter Cell may not be one of Ubisoft’s three unannounced games

Ubisoft's fiscal report included the news that pirate game Skull & Bones is delayed a year, but also included plans for three unannounced games. A Ubisoft dev tweeted that Splinter Cell was in development, but the company said otherwise.
Cars

Volkswagen is launching a full range of EVs, but it doesn’t want to be Tesla

Volkswagen is preparing to release the 2020 ID.3 - an electric, Golf-sized model developed for Europe. It sheds insight into the brand's future EVs, including ones built and sold in the United States.
Computing

Zombieload forces a choice between performance and security. What will you do?

Intel has handled the recent discovery of a security vulnerability in its CPUs with confidence, a contrast to its reaction to Spectre and Meltdown. But with ZombieLoad, performance and security seem to be at odds, and you have to choose.
Computing

The Dell XPS 13 headlines the best laptop deals for May 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we have you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Product Review

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 2 launched last year, but already feels old

Released in fall of 2018, the Surface Laptop 2 was competitive at the time but now must deal with new competitors that were announced at CES 2019. How does the popular Surface Laptop 2 hold up six months later?
Deals

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Everything you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a few months off, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.
Computing

Is Threadripper dead? If so, AMD has made a huge mistake

Think Threadripper is dead? Think again. AMD's flagship CPU line might not be on this year's roadmap, but it's not dead and could well bring some amazing new enhancements when it returns.
Social Media

6 easy ways to archive all of your favorite Instagram videos

Saving Instagram videos should be just as easy as taking a screenshot. So, we've put together a list of the best apps and tools that save your favorite Instagram videos onto your phone or computer.
Computing

Cybercrime gang that stole $100M busted in international effort

A major cybercrime gang that used powerful malware to steal an estimated $100 million from bank accounts has been dismantled following an international effort that spanned six countries.
Computing

G-Sync is a game-changer. These are the best monitors with Nvidia's display tech

Looking for a monitor that plays well with Nvidia GPUs? You need G-Sync and we have picked the best G-Sync monitors available. Take a look and find out which monitor works best for your PC upgrade.
Computing

Microsoft is discounting this Surface Laptop 2 by a sweet $300

Microsoft is offering a nearly 14-inch Surface Laptop 2 with 256GB of storage at a $300 discount until May 18, 2019. The laptop comes with a PixelSense display, and Intel Core i5 processor and a 720p HD camera.
Product Review

Looking for discrete graphics on the cheap? The Acer Swift 3 will do the trick

The Acer Swift 3 is a tweener laptop that’s not quite budget and not quite premium – and it feels and performs accordingly. It manages to hold its own, though, thanks to its discrete GPU.