Since the launch of the Microsoft HoloLens three years ago, the product has gained the approval of developers and commercial customers alike. The HoloLens is now on the shelves of 29 new European markets, making it available in a total of 39 countries.
Despite the high cost of the HoloLens ($3,000 per piece), the HoloLens is adopted by organisations that want a substitute for their old products. Although the HoloLens is still in its initial stages, with many improvements to be made over the next few years, customers such as first response and information workers are ready to embrace the product in its early stages. The hands-free HoloLens is popular among frontline workers who perform daily tasks such as car and retail store assembly. Apart from this, HoloLens is used by motoring company Ford to design cars, while surgeons hope to apply the product to aid in spinal operations. However, its popularity is not yet widespread among consumers at home – the scene of people walking around wearing or using the HoloLens for playing games is yet to happen.
The usage of the HoloLens does not require a phone, tablet, or a laptop. It can also be used as a remote device to perform a Skype video with a colleague who can perform real-time drawing of directions for you to see. The headset also has another basic use – as a protective eyewear – as the HoloLens has successfully passed the impact tests required for protective eyewear standards in Europe and the US.
The product is also IP50 rated, thus suitable for workers in dusty construction sites. Microsoft is also producing an additional hard-hat accessory to allow people to wear the HoloLens with protective headgear.
Rumours have stated Microsoft will not launch the next version of the HoloLens until 2019. However, this did not stop the company making it available in more countries due to the existing demand and popularity of the product. There is also no strong competition in the market to entail urgent upgrades to the existing system. Microsoft reportedly postponed plans to roll out a new version of the product, while using the opportunity to work on better hardware changes. Microsoft has not revealed a lot about the future hardware, except that the headset will include a custom Microsoft AI chip. Also, Microsoft plans to roll out a software update for the HoloLens in the beginning of 2018, which is said to include more modern versions of the Windows 10 variant, such as the Falls Creators Update.
This year, Microsoft introduced its Windows Mixed Reality VR headsets as part of the Microsoft headset family. The company has future plans to integrate the family of headsets together when suitable technology is available.
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