Microsoft is offering academics $US100,000 (£64,000) and two HoloLens development kits in a bid to find new uses for its forthcoming augmented reality headset.
Microsoft Research Corporate Vice President Jeannette Wing announced the HoloLens Academic Research Request for Proposals (RFP) in a blog post on Tuesday.
HoloLens is an augmented and virtual reality headset developed by Microsoft that was first unveiled in January. The headset is still in development and is set to run using Microsoft’s soon-to-be released Windows 10 operating system.
It works to let users experience full virtual reality and augmented reality with special “holographic displays.” The holographic displays place translucent items projected on to real environments that users can interact with.
The move is the latest step by Microsoft to expand the use of HoloLens. Microsoft and NASA announced a pair of HoloLens glasses will be sent to the International Space Station in June.
The RFP will accept proposals from universities within the United States at the HoloLens research website, until September 5.
It is unclear if the RFP will be opened up to other regions. Business Insider has reached out to Microsoft for comment.
Proposals will require a brief description of any relevant prior research, publications, or other professional experience the applicants have as well as non-technical and technical descriptions of the project.
Successful applicants will receive the tech and funding from Microsoft to pursue their research at an unspecified point after September 5. It’s not clear how many people will get funding.
“This emerging technology teems with opportunity, so we’ve issued this RFP to inspire the academic community to investigate the potential roles and applications for holographic computing in society,” said Wing in her blog post.
“We expect that researchers will envision novel ways of using HoloLens — from interactively teaching students, to creating mixed-realty art installations, to manipulating holographic data to reveal new relationships…to who knows what.”
Wing added Microsoft is hoping the research will help find practical applications for HoloLens in a wealth of fields including medicine, design, education, art, and psychology.
HoloLens is one of many augmented and virtual reality headsets set to hit the market. Facebook’s Oculus Rift VR headset is set to arrive at an unspecified point this year.
Taiwanese firm HTC is also dabbling in the field and unveiled a Vive VR headset at MWC in March.
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