Businesses and developers in the UK, France, Germany and Ireland are finally able to pre-order Microsoft’s HoloLens, two years after its initial reveal.
HoloLens, which has been available to purchase in the US and Canada for a year now, comes in two different specs. The developer version will set buyers back £2,719 and the commercial suite costs £4,529.
The device allows wearers to see holographic objects in the real world, such as schematics or instructions. It’s made up of a visor and goggles, which are secured to the user’s head via a band. On the inside is a CPU, GPU, a holographic processing unit (HPU) and several sensors, including a gyroscope and accelerometer. The multidimensional images, which can only be seen by the wearer, are created using two cameras on either side of each eye.
Experiences that aren’t possible on any other device
Instead of a screen, these holographic images are projected onto the retina. The HoloLens wearer can then interact with the object using gestures and voice controls.
Alex Kipman, technical fellow at Microsoft Windows and Devices Group, said that since HoloLens’s launch in the US and Canada, both developers and companies have created experiences that aren’t possible on any other device.
“When we set out to pioneer the mixed reality category we knew that many of the best innovations would be discovered when others got their hands on the technology,” he explained. “It has been quite inspiring to see what our partners have built and what individual developers have created.”
One of the more interesting applications is NASA’s OnSight project, which is being used by scientists to work on Mars together from offices around the world. At the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA has opened an exhibition called Destination Mars that lets visitors walks on the red planet using real images taken by the Curiosity Rover and HoloLens.