Microsoft dangles $500k cash wad over boffins: Please, pleeease write some HoloLens apps

Redmond ponies up the cash for devs working on headset


Microsoft is promising $500,000 to researchers and developers who will build apps for its Hololens headset.

Redmond has put out a call for academic research proposals on projects that would make use of its virtual reality specs.

"The primary goal of this request for proposals is to better understand the role and possible applications for holographic computing in society," Microsoft said in announcing the project.

"Additional goals are to stimulate and advance academic research in mixed reality and encourage applications of holograms for novel purposes."

Winners will receive one of five $100,000 grants to work on their research project. Microsoft will also give winners a pair of Hololens headsets. Microsoft notes that the funding will only carry on for one year, after which the projects are expected to dig up their own funds.

The campaign will accept proposals until September 5, and any submissions must come from accredited universities or non-profit research institutes within the United States.

Unveiled earlier this year, Hololens is Microsoft's answer to the likes of Google Glass and Oculus Rift. Unlike pure virtual reality headsets, rather than rendering an entire image on the headset, Hololens puts pictures onto a clear display, showing 3D images within the normal field of vision.

A Reg hands-on with the device found that while Hololens was functional, the technical limitations of the headset raise serious doubts about any long-term practical application. This is something Redmond is looking to change with its $500,000 funding push.

Microsoft hopes the winning research projects will cover areas such as education and training, data visualization, and communications. Microsoft is also looking to fund projects for art and interactive media. ®

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