Microsoft has just announced that the HoloLens, their augmented reality headset device aimed mainly at commercial interests, is going to be released in six new countries outside of the United States and Canada – including France, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
HoloLens was previously launched in North American markets for developers in March 2016, Microsoft is set to bring the headset to Europe. Pre-orders for the device began from 12th October, although the device won’t be delivered until towards the end of November. The device will currently only be available for businesses and development purposes, although Microsoft expects it to have consumer purposes in the future. As reported by the BBC, HoloLens will cost in excess of £2700.
The BBC’s report described some of the various applications HoloLens could be used for. One of these was the Skype function Microsoft developed for the headset, which they revealed earlier this year, which projects the conversation screen out against a surface the user stands in front of. The second application allows users to move and manipulate simulated objects in front of them. The final app was a medical teaching aid developed by Case Western University, which allows students to examine a virtual human body.
Wired’s preview of HoloLens described the headset as having a striking design with a comfortably fitting form thanks to an ‘incredibly easy-to-use’ fitting mechanism. Even though it weighs in at 579g – heavier than Oculus’ 440g – Wired felt that HoloLens’ weight was securely distributed around the head without pulling too much force down.
As mentioned in Wired’s report, Microsoft is keen to stress the difference between HoloLens and other virtual reality headsets like Oculus or HTC Vive. “Microsoft told us that it’s important to explore its uses for businesses first, refine the headset and increase the number of apps available before launching to consumers”, Wired said.
HoloLens is available for developers to pre-order from now.