Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality kit drew closer on Tuesday, as the world got its first glimpse of how Windows 10 will run on the device. Details of a new virtual reality video creation app called Actiongrams leaked online, which also revealed images of various HoloLens apps, the Start menu and safety information.
Unfortunately, one of the big revelations is that HoloLens is not intended for children under 13 to use. This may come as a slight disappointment to some, as one of the most interesting apps Microsoft has shown off is a version of Minecraft where people can virtually step into their creations and walk around.
As the device has not yet launched, this may yet change, but the leaked safety instructions explain that HoloLens was designed for use by people with an interpupillary distance of between 51 and 74, which normally includes adults and children over 13.
Those old enough to use the HoloLens will find an interface very similar to the one on desktop versions of Windows. Referred to as the “shell,” the Start menu looks almost identical, but has some key changes.
Cortana, time and WiFi information are all listed on an app picker that appears to float in the air. “Air tapping” (looking at a point and curling the index finger) a button on the right hand side brings up a list of all installed apps.
The photo app, as revealed by Twitter user h0x0d, bears many similarities to the desktop version. The video also revealed Microsoft Edge, Store, Video and Calibration apps, the last one likely used for adjusting the HoloLens for the user’s eyes.
Microsoft also appears to have developed a “Learn Gestures” app. During IBTimes’ hands-on, the HoloLens gestures took some getting used to, so this will likely be a welcome addition for first time users.
Microsoft has also built a “hard reset” function in case the headset crashes. HoloLens is an entirely self contained computer, one that doesn’t need to be tethered to a PC, and crashes may happen from time to time. Holding down the power button for 20 seconds, then waiting 10 seconds, then switching back on, should set the HoloLens right again.
HoloLens is due for release as a developer kit in the first quarter of 2016. This first stage will be out of the reach of many consumers, with a hefty $3,000 price tag and offerings geared more towards Windows developers.