One of the most well known mixed reality devices, Microsoft’s HoloLens, has had a pretty good year. Though HoloLens is not a consumer-oriented augmented reality device just yet (device is currently $3000), that’s simply because this groundbreaking tech is still in its early stages. Developers are charging forward with various entertainment and productivity applications (over 80 in the Microsoft store to date) and businesses are finding new ways to utilize the head mounted display as well. Development efforts are about to get a major adrenaline shot in the arm also, with Microsoft today expanding distribution globally to Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
International shipping has long been requested by developers, with the device previously only being available in the US and Canada. We’re looking forward to seeing what a whole new army of studios can do with the kit while we wait for other important features like HTC Vive integration.
We’ve previously reported on various examples of HoloLens implementation into company work flows, such as within NASA and elevator company ThyssenKrupp AG. NASA is using mixed reality to train astronauts and save money by testing parts virtually before production while ThyssenKrupp AG is improving safety conditions and saving their technicians time, projecting elevator diagnostics through the glasses and freeing up their hands while talking to technicians on Skype powered HoloLens chat. HoloLens isn’t all work and no play, though, with companies like Legendary Entertainment having serious mixed reality ambitions.
HoloLens is now available to pre-order exclusively from the Microsoft Store. The devices will start shipping in late November to those additional countries.
As for a retail edition of the device? That still seems a long way off, with no mention of it in a press release today. Meanwhile, we’re still looking to mysterious MR competitor Magic Leap to deliver some solid competition.