The pre-production version of HoloLens shipped on March 30, 2016 for a list price of $3000. Samsung and Asus extended offers to Microsoft to help produce their own mixed-reality products, in collaboration with Microsoft, based around the concept and hardware on HoloLens.
The headset features an inertial measurement unit, an ambient light sensor, one camera for measuring depth, and four ‘environment understanding cameras’, all of which combine to process information about the environment you’re in and how you’re interacting with it. A 2-megapixel camera allows you to capture videos and photos of your holographic exploits, while four built-in microphones will register voice commands.
HoloLens was one of the first computers running the Windows Mixed Reality platform under the Windows 10 operating system. The HoloLens can trace its lineage to Kinect, an add-on for Microsoft's Xbox gaming console that was introduced in 2010.
In November, 2018, Microsoft announced that it is readying HoloLens for combat. The company won a $480 million military contract with the U.S. government to bring AR headset tech into the weapons repertoire of American soldiers.