When Microsoft launched its mixed reality (MR) head-mounted display (HMD) HoloLens earlier this year the rules for getting hold of one were quite restrictive. At the time only developers in the US and Canada were eligable to apply for the $3000 USD device. Today the company has announced its expanding the amount of countries the headset can be purchased in.
Developers and commercial partners based in six countries can now pre-order HoloLens, they are Australia, France, Germany Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. For those based in any of these countries per-orders will begin shipping in late November 2016.
“Since the launch of Microsoft HoloLens, we have seen really passionate developers and world-class companies develop groundbreaking computing experiences — experiences only possible on HoloLens,” said Alex Kipman, technical fellow, Microsoft Windows and Devices Group. “When we set out to pioneer the mixed-reality category, we knew that many of the best innovations would be discovered when others got their hands on the technology. It has been quite inspiring to see what our partners have built and what individual developers have created. Together, we have only scratched the surface for what mixed reality can do. I can’t wait to see what happens next as we welcome these new countries to our holographic landscape.”
Microsoft has been focused on the commercial aspects of HoloLens from the word go, and global companies have been utilising the MR headset for various applications. These companies include: Audi, Airbus, SAAB, NASA, thyssenkrupp, Lowe’s Home Improvement and more.
“Audi is invested in leading the future of automotive design through the use of cutting-edge technologies. A technology like Microsoft HoloLens could open up new opportunities for our services in many ways — from engineering reviews and collaboration to after-sales scenarios and new ways of customer experiences. There are many use cases to be realized,” said Jan Pflüger, Coordination Augmented and Virtual Reality at Audi IT. “A mixed-reality solution like HoloLens seems very promising in helping us improve service quality, innovate on our customer communication, and cut time and costs required for maintenance. We see an exciting future in this technology and look forward to expanding its use at Audi.”
VRFocus will continue its coverage of HoloLens, reporting back with the latest announcements.