Microsoft begins shipping HoloLens dev kit, showcases medical and education pilots

The future of HoloLens is officially underway

HoloLens is shipping to developers today. Yes, today. Which, considering that Oculus Rift just began shipping to end users yesterday, is perhaps the most timely announcement in the short history of modern VR.

For those who plunked down $3,000 for a dev kit, you should receive a tracking number in your inbox soon. During today's Build 2016 conference in San Francisco, Microsoft went out of its way to push HoloLens' tether-free experience.

Build 2016 HoloLens Dev Kit Partners

We're expecting to hear a lot more regarding Microsoft's list of software partners as the units get out in the wild. Saab, Infusion, NASA, Lowe's, and a host of others were cited as companies involved in "pilots," which "will eventually become reality."

Build 2016 HoloLens Dev Kit

Perhaps most impressive is the potential for HoloLens outside of gaming and entertainment. In fact, Microsoft invited up a pair of doctors just to showcase how the device can be used to "teach medicine." Indeed, the ability to experience operating rooms and manufacturing facilities may end up being what cements HoloLens' legacy.

For now, however, enjoy those shipping notices -- the future of our virtual existence is in your hands. No pressure.