Microsoft has announced that its Hololens augmented reality (AR) headset is opening up for sales in Canada and the US.
Microsoft Hololens project head Alex Kipman wrote in a blog post on Tuesday, August 2, that instead of going through an application process as before, now all business customers and developers in North America can now order up to five HoloLens development kits apiece. The Hololens AR headset costs $3,000 per unit and orders can be placed through the Hololens website. A Microsoft account is required from those who are placing orders on the website.
According to The Verge, Microsoft kept Hololens under wraps until now. For the first wave of headsets starting to be shipped in March, the company carefully vetted would-be buyers. According to Kipman, all of these early orders have been already filled.
It is unclear how many Hololens kits have already been sold. Sales of Hololens kits are opened to anyone, but Microsoft is still positioning Hololens AR device as purely for developers.
The difference now is that, unlikely the previous order page the new requires an invitation letter, using just a standard checkout system. Even if theoretically now sales are open to anyone, given the early state of the hardware and its high price, this is a purely academic distinction for most people. However, things are now much simpler for those who want to experiment with the Microsoft Hololense headset.
Microsoft did not announce yet when it will launch a consumer edition of Hololens. But research institutes and private companies much have been already working on various potential applications. According to PCWorld, one such application was demonstrated in Toronto, at last month's Worldwide Developer Conference in Toronto. Japan Airlines presented a Hololens app that allows engineers get up close with a computerized full scale model of a jet engine.
A HoloLens package called the Microsoft HoloLens Commercial Suite is also launched by Microsoft along with the new purchasing rules. The Commercial Suite adds various control and security features to the headset, limiting its functioning to running only certain apps.