Microsoft sees HoloLens in its current form as a perfect commercial product, which can help Information Workers and First Line Workers to be more productive and efficient. Thus, to make the product more popular and acceptable, the company is making it available in 29 new European markets, Microsoft announced at the Future Decoded event on Wednesday.
Microsoft HoloLens – how is it useful?
The Microsoft HoloLens, which was showcased almost three years ago, is now available in 39 countries. Over the years, the company has found that businesses are willing to replace their existing tools with the HoloLens, which is priced at $3,000. “The alternative is so expensive that the total cost of switching … all of that cost is tiny compared to what they’re doing right now,” HoloLens general manager, Lorraine Bardeen, told The Verge in an interview.
Microsoft HoloLens, which is built to run with Windows 10, has been found useful by Firstline workers, such as those assembling retail stores, fixing elevators, assembling cars and more. Ford is making use of the gadget for designing cars, while surgeons are testing it for use during spine operations. It can be used as remote assistance or a training device, where one can do a Skype video call giving instructions by seeing the model in front of them, live (not on a screen).
ThyssenKrupp, an elevator company, has been testing HoloLens to assist engineers in maintenance and problem-solving tasks. Using Microsoft HoloLens, a remote engineer is able to see what the on-site technician can see, and also digitally annotate objects that are in the technician’s vision. For example, in one test, an engineer was able to solve a fault in just 20 minutes that usually takes hours or even requires a visit of another engineer on-site, notes ZDNet.
“Mixed reality has the potential to help customers and businesses across the globe do things that, until now, have never been possible. Mixed reality experiences will help businesses and their employees complete crucial tasks faster, safer, more efficiently, and create new ways to connect to customers and partners,” said Bardeen at the event.
Making it capable
To ensure that HoloLens perfectly fits into this role, Microsoft has tested the headset as protective eyewear, which has already cleared common protective glass certification standards such as ANSI Z87.1, CSA Z94.3 and EN 166. Microsoft HoloLens has also passed basic impact tests in Europe and North America. Further, keeping Firstline Workers in mind, the headset has also been rated IP50 i.e., dust protected, according to MSPoweruser.
In March, Microsoft informed that HoloLens is currently supported by 150 apps, and that the number will grow as the device gains more recognition. Microsoft is even working on a second generation of the device, which would come with its own AI chip, according to TechCrunch. The chip will shift some computing power off the cloud to the device itself.
As of now, there are no details when the devices will be available to the newly added countries, and what the local prices would be. Microsoft currently offers a “Development Edition” costing $3,000 and a “Commercial Suite,” which includes more enterprise features, for $5,000.