Microsoft broadens HoloLens availability

Back in February, Microsoft made its HoloLens augmented-reality headset available to select developers through an application process. Folks that Redmond deemed qualified then needed to fork over $3000 to get their hands on a HoloLens dev kit. Now, Microsoft is making the HoloLens Development Edition hardware available to any "developer" that wants to purchase one.

To qualify, prospective buyers need to be English speakers in the USA or Canada and hold a Microsoft Account. The price tag remains the same at $3000, and "developers" can purchase up to five sets of goggles.

Microsoft is also making it easier for companies to integrate HoloLens with the rest of their managed IT environments. The just-released HoloLens Commercial Suite lets businesses put their goggles in a limited kiosk mode, create mobile device management profiles, integrate HoloLens with Azure Active Directory and other identity-management services, encrypt the data on board with BitLocker, allow users to access a corporate network through a VPN, and create private curated app stores for the device. The HoloLens Commercial Suite is only available through a Microsoft account rep.

Comments closed
    • crabjokeman
    • 4 years ago

    Need to speak English? Is that really a viable legal condition MS can enforce? Is Trump President already?

      • smilingcrow
      • 4 years ago

      Que?

    • willmore
    • 4 years ago

    Having used one, I can suggest that the reason there’s not much continuing demand for these is that they’re not very interesting.

    The viewing angle is low.
    The colors are washed out.
    The graphical complexity is low–we’re talking sub Nintendo DS.
    The battery life is short.

    The battery life is short enough that the code/compile/test loop will chew through it pretty quickly. The old programmer excuse for goofing off used to be “waiting for a compile”. Now it will be “waiting for the hololens to charge”.

      • smilingcrow
      • 4 years ago

      “Waiting for the hololens to charge”

      Goddammit Number One, ‘make it happen’ already!

    • moose17145
    • 4 years ago

    I would love to see this, but integrated into the visor of a motorcycle helmet. Could prove super useful.

    They already have a similar idea called the AR-1. But I’d like to see an improved version.

    And I wish TR would have written a review on the Vive and / or Rift since they said they have one. If they still have one, maybe a review about it sine they have had it for a while now after the initial “omg shiney!” Has worn off.

    • Bensam123
    • 4 years ago

    Not sure what their target market is with this… Employees of a company walking around snapping fingers lowering productivity? Random starbucks girl who is apparently working at starbucks while drinking coffee and acting like a visitor?

    Like none of the VR or AR demograph is ‘corporations who need locked down devices’, which is what they’re selling this as. They seem to be targeting the same demograph as blackberrys…

      • smilingcrow
      • 4 years ago

      Maybe while they are waiting for the hardware platform to mature making it ready to be more of a mainstream device they are beefing up the software support making it more attractive to various sectors?
      But with Intel seemingly stopping developing CPUs that would be an upgrade for this I wonder how that will pan out!

        • Voldenuit
        • 4 years ago

        [quote<]But with Intel seemingly stopping developing CPUs that would be an upgrade for this I wonder how that will pan out![/quote<] I'd think Tegra would make a lot of sense, especially since UWP can be recompiled to multiple ISAs.

      • xuoq
      • 4 years ago

      ‘Corporations who need locked down devices’ is exactly the corporation I work for. This would be an amazing device to work in real time with my counterparts at other fabs for troubleshooting purposes. I said a similar thing about Google Glass and momentarily got in trouble for wearing it in a cafeteria because the manager didn’t understand how it worked (said it was an IP violation… in the cafeteria), so maybe I’m in the minority in realizing how useful devices like this could be in my field.

        • Bensam123
        • 4 years ago

        You didn’t really describe at all how helpful the device would be in your field, much like the video.

        Just being able to see video of your friends you can do right now with a mobile device. Nothing is noted that really needs AR or VR.

          • xuoq
          • 4 years ago

          We can’t use camera enabled mobile devices at the moment at all because the devices we’re using only have camera on or camera off functionality when it comes to restrictions. We have a separate point and shoot camera we can use after we check it out, but it’s cumbersome and only takes pictures. With the features mentioned in the article, it seems that video chat could be allowed without allowing the ability to take and save pictures, which is what limits us from using camera enabled mobile devices. With something like this, we could both be looking at our machines and pointing things out much more efficiently and have the use of our hands, which wouldn’t be the case if we were able to Skype with phones. It seems like it would be much more intuitive than using phones and cheaper than the hotel bill, car rental bill, per diem, and airfare that was just paid for me to do pretty much this exact thing.

      • Sargent Duck
      • 4 years ago

      Engineers? Surgeons? Architects?

      I’m not a developer and I can think of a ton of people that would use this.

        • Bensam123
        • 4 years ago

        Maybe with camera recognition and some hardcore real time processing, from the looks of the video… that’s not really what it’s about. It just looks like google glass that more locked down. You have a HUD and that’s pretty much it. Make some snapping gestures. Otherwise it’s just a smartphone strapped to your face.

        Maybe you can catch some pokemon with it…

        • BurntMyBacon
        • 4 years ago

        I’d love to use several of these in a group of engineers to look over PCB or ASIC layouts. I can see how this could be useful for showing a virtual building or structure that has yet to be build or to look at a virtual engine that you can explode out into its various components and interact with as a group. Eventually, when prices drop, I think professionals could use this for virtual landscaping to give clients an idea of what they are buying into. I imagine the medical field will love these once the prices and form factor fit their needs. It could replace their eye protection. The Surgeon wouldn’t have to look up a monitors anymore. Voice commands could be used to toggle display modes when necessary. All the information needed could be broadcast to the device allowing the surgeon to keep focus on what they are doing instead of looking away periodically to a view screen. I digress.

      • UberGerbil
      • 4 years ago

      Actually, almost [i<]all[/i<] the [i<]current[/i<] AR demographic is "corporations who need locked down devices." All the major aerospace manufacturers (Boeing, Lockheed, Raytheon) are in trial mode right now using various hardware (eg Epson Moverio) and software to do AR-assisted assembly and maintenance. Lockheed might be the farthest along, as they have a trial deployment on the F-35 assembly lines and are experimenting with using it for F-22 maintenance. And those environments are pretty much the definition of "locked-down"; in fact, so locked down they can't trial the tech at actual bases because the forward-facing camera necessary for AR is forbidden. The kind of control Microsoft is talking about is pretty much necessary (but may not be sufficient) for them to make any headway in relaxing restrictions for these kinds of devices, but it's a minimum for someone like Lockheed to use it in their own facilities. Whether it's technicians tracing a fault in complex wiring in an airplane or the piping at a refinery, or workers assembling anything complicated away from (or in conjunction with) robotic assembly lines, there are a lot of industrial applications for AR, and virtually all of them are going to be for F500 companies that expect this level of control of any device on their network.

    • Pwnstar
    • 4 years ago

    I thought this was pretty much dead. Maybe that Pokemon game is breathing life into the idea?

      • Vaughn
      • 4 years ago

      And why would you think this is dead?

      are you a developer?

      • dragmor
      • 4 years ago

      They have been showing it to developers. From using it, its cool but FOV and battery need to be better. The problem is that its pretty much USA only, so I can’t buy one.

      The HoloLens management options sound just like Windows Mobile 10 management options, so that’s nice.

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