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HoloLens Developer Kit Coming Next Year

While consumers might have to wait a while to experience Microsoft HoloLens, the mixed-reality headset could land in the hands of developers fairly soon. According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, a developer version of the device is slated for a 2016 release.

Nadella discussed the headset's release window in a video interview with BBC, stating that a V1 version of HoloLens will be available for developers and enterprise users "within the next year." The Microsoft boss described HoloLens' development as a "5-year journey," suggesting that it could be quite a while before a mainstream version of the augmented reality device hits the market.

First revealed in January, Microsoft HoloLens is billed as a mixed-reality headset that lets you use holographic versions of Windows 10 apps around your home. You can use it to Skype with a friend on your living room wall, or to play Minecraft on your coffee table, to name a few examples. You can have HoloLens apps follow you around your home, meaning you can start watching a movie in your kitchen and easily bring the virtual screen to your bedroom.

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We've had multiple chances to try HoloLens ourselves, and came away impressed every time. During our first demo with the device, we took a virtual walk on Mars and saw a Minecraft world brought to life on top of a table. Later on, at E3 2015, HoloLens put us aboard a real-life Halo ship, where a holographic version of our commander briefed us on a mission before playing some Halo 5.

While HoloLens' current release window is vague, the fact that it will be in developers' hands soon is a big win for anyone looking forward to the headset. We've been blown away by Microsoft's tech demos alone, and we're eager to see what third parties come up with.