After long last, Microsoft is finally opening up sales of its Hololens augmented reality headset. The company has also removed the convoluted application process. Now, business customers in US and Canada can purchase up to 5 kits apiece. However, the price of the devices have remained the same at $3000. This marks the first time that the company is actually making its product widely available.
HoloLens has been around for quite some time. However, for reasons of its own, Microsoft controlled sales with an uncharacteristic choosiness. HoloLens was first made available to developers, who had to go through a review process by Microsoft. And that is not even mentioning the invite only system for the website.
According to a blog post by Microsoft,
We’ve fulfilled the orders for our first waves of developers, and today I’m pleased to announce that we’re expanding the program, making HoloLens Development Edition available to all developers and business customers in the United States and Canada. Developers looking to join our holographic journey can go to hololens.com and purchase up to five devices. No application required!
Although HoloLens is still being aimed at the wider developer community, anyone with $3,000 can now get one shipped to US and Canada. With hundreds of applications like Skype, HoloStudio along with several games — that take immersive to an all new level — available on the platform, HoloLens has already become a worth-have gadget, albeit a rather pricey one.
With the Windows 10 Anniversary edition, Microsoft is adding a whole bunch of brand new features to the HoloLens suite of services. Microsoft is also laying a lot of focus upon commercial and enterprise customers. The HoloLens Commercial Suite, with development edition hardware and enterprise features for added security and device management is introduced. Some of the features of the commercial suite of services are as follows:
- Kiosk mode: With HoloLens kiosk mode, you can limit which apps to run to enable demo or showcase experiences.
- Mobile Device Management (MDM): Your IT department can manage multiple HoloLens devices simultaneously using solutions like Microsoft InTune. You will be able to manage settings, select apps to install and set security configurations tailored to your organization’s need.
- Identity: Azure Active Directory & next generation credentials with pin unlock.
- Windows Update for Business: Controlled operating system updates to devices and support for long term servicing branch.
- Data security: BitLocker data encryption and secure boot is enabled on HoloLens to provide the same level of security protection as any other Windows device.
- Work access: Anyone in your organization can remotely connect to the corporate network through a virtual private network on a HoloLens. It can also access Wi-Fi networks that require credentials.
- Windows Store for Business: Your IT department can also set up an enterprise private store, containing only your company’s apps for your specific HoloLens usage. Securely distribute your enterprise software to selected group of enterprise users.
Microsoft is hoping to introduce more enterperise level customers to the HoloLens program. Several very prominent companies including Boeing, have recent started incorporating VR/AR into their workplace programs. Microsoft knows that there is a lot of potential for business in that direction, hence the special suite of services.
Meanwhile, if you are a developer who has been itching to lay hands on the HoloLens kit, or just someone who cant wait to try it out before general availability, here is your chance. You can now order the development Kit by going to the HoloLens official website. Be ready to shell out $3,000 though. Have fun!