Currently, if you want high-end augmented reality (AR) or mixed reality (MR) headsets then your choice is fairly limited, with the main two being either Microsoft HoloLens or Meta 2. Neither are cheap with HoloLens coming in at $3000 USD and Meta 2 retailing for $1,495. To make adoption that little bit easier Microsoft has now announced the launch of a rental programme, enabling companies to try before they buy.
Microsoft has partnered with ABCOMRENTS to allow North American companies to evaluate whether purchasing HoloLens – which also comes in a $5000 Business Edition – is financially viable for long term projects, or if they want to use the headset temporarily to support tradeshows and events.
ABCOMRENTS generally specialises in large scale products to shows and events, like videowalls and touch screen TV’s. Neither Microsfot or ABCOMRENTS has said how much or what the rental terms are for the HoloLens, just that any interested parties will need to contact the rental company directly for further information. Rentals do include all the accessories required to keep HoloLens clean and safe.
In addition to the rental programme – which may see a wider roll out in the future – Microsoft has expanded the number of countries the headset is available in. Companies in Singapore and the United Arab Emirates will soon be able to order HoloLens, bringing the total number of territories up to 41.
This year alone has seen HoloLens being used across numerous industries with Trimble integrating the headset into hard hats, Imperial College London utilising HoloLens in operating theatres, General Electric (GE) using Microsoft HoloLens to help train ultrasound sonologist students, and the Ford Motor Company has begun using it to modernise workflows.