Microsoft has announced the global expansion of its Hololens holographic computer to six countries including the UK.
Hololens, the world’s first self-contained holographic computer, is now available for pre-order for £2,719 and will ship in late November.
This news comes in the same week that Sony is to launch its PlayStation VR headset, but it is considerably different tech.The device is still very much in the realm of developers and business customers, with the average consumer having little use for the device thus far.
Rather than presenting virtual reality (VR), the Hololens is an augmented reality (AR) headset which shows images overlayed onto the real world. Microsoft is very much of the mindset that while businesses are the focus right now, the device has massive amounts of consumer potential in the long run.
Alex Kipman, technical fellow at Microsoft Windows and Devices Group said: "Since the launch of Microsoft HoloLens, we have seen really passionate developers and world-class companies develop groundbreaking computing experiences — experiences only possible on HoloLens.
"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. It has been quite inspiring to see what our partners have built and what individual developers have created.
"Together, we have only scratched the surface for what mixed reality can do. I can’t wait to see what happens next as we welcome these new countries to our holographic landscape."
The headset is currently used by a wide variety of business partners including NASA, Airbus and Audi.
Jan Pflüger, Coordination Augmented and Virtual Reality at Audi IT said: "A mixed-reality solution like HoloLens seems very promising in helping us improve service quality, innovate on our customer communication, and cut time and costs required for maintenance. We see an exciting future in this technology and look forward to expanding its use at Audi."
Microsoft is expected to talk more about HoloLens at the company’s Surface hardware event later this month.