Microsoft’s HoloLens mixed reality (MR) head-mounted display (HMD) made its debut as recently as January 2015, but the company is already looking to get the wider development community involved with the kit. To that end, Microsoft has recently launched an ‘Academic Research Request for Proposals’ that is looking for studios to come up with ideas for new apps. The company hopes to find experiences that extend far beyond the videogame industry and is even prepared to offer around $500,000 USD between a select group of winners.
An official page set up over on Microsoft Research explains the request. Developers can now submit written proposals through an online application tool, explaining their idea. Microsoft is expecting to award around 5 of these proposals, with each winner receiving $100,000 and 2 HoloLens development kits to start their work. Submissions should include the complete project proposal with description, approach, related research, schedule, use of funds and more. Proposals will be evaluated based on the importance of the project and their feasibility among other aspects.
Apps can cover a wide range of areas, including but not limited to data visualisation, evolution of pedagogy in STEM, medical, and design education, future of communication and distributed collaboration, interactive art and experimental media, psychology-related topics and problem solving. Anyone with ideas for apps outside of these fields shouldn’t hesitate to submit them, however. The deadline is locked for 00:00 PT on 5th September 2015. A month of judging will then take place before winners are announced on 6th October 2015.
Microsoft is clearly very keen on the non-gaming applications of HoloLens, having recently detailed an ambitious partnership with NASA to have the kits used on the International Space Station (ISS), though this recently suffered a setback. VRFocus will continue to follow HoloLens closely, reporting back with the latest updates on it.