HoloLens 2 Development Edition makes A/NZ debut

HoloLens 2 Development Edition makes A/NZ debut

Also available in the US, Canada, Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Microsoft technical fellow Alex Kipman unveils HoloLens 2 at MWC Barcelona.

Microsoft technical fellow Alex Kipman unveils HoloLens 2 at MWC Barcelona.

Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft has made its HoloLens 2 Development Edition augmented reality kit available in a slew of new markets, including Australia and New Zealand, following an initial US-only release in November. 

The HoloLens 2 Development Edition is now available in Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

According to Microsoft, the Development Edition of its augmented reality headset and associated technology combines the capabilities of HoloLens 2 with Azure, Unity and Pixyz.

This combo, according to the vendor, helps to “empower” developers to build interactive experiences and render 3D holographic content with people, places and things.

In a nutshell, the HoloLens 2 Development Edition is aimed at supporting mixed reality developers who are creating applications. 

The company flagged its local release of the tech in November, when it became available in the United States market. 

At the time, Microsoft said that the HoloLens 2 Development Edition cost US$3,500 and included a free three-month trial of Unity Pro and Pixyz Plugin. In Australia, the kit’s price tag comes in at A$5,599. In New Zealand, the price is NZ$6,199.

Microsoft said that from the beginning of its mixed reality journey, Unity has provided developers with an industry-leading real-time 3D development platform, with tools such as Unity Pro and Pixyz Plugin to bring their mixed reality visions to life. 

Since its entry into the market, HoloLens — both its first and second iterations — has represented one of the few device stacks in the virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) headset space to directly target enterprise users, with industrial use-cases and opportunities for channel partners with VR and AR capabilities to get in on the action. 

In August last year, Ingram Micro revealed it had become one of a few Microsoft distributors to gain access to HoloLens devices, with the launch of the device taking place later that year.

That particular distribution deal was rolled out in a phased approach, firstly hitting North America, followed by some selected EMEA countries and Australia and New Zealand, with Singapore in the second phase.

Earlier this year, the Australian Department of Defence revealed that its No. 36 Squadron aircraft technicians were using HoloLens for maintenance work.

In August, the Department also put out a call for a ‘mixed reality engineering specialist’ armed with HoloLens 2 and Azure experience to help identify and scope a mixed reality training program to help lift skills in the area.

Late last year, in November, Qantas said it was preparing to embark on the next phase of a trial using Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 mixed reality headset and technology to help train its engineers without putting them in harm’s way.

Working with Microsoft Mixed Reality Partner Program experts from US-based spatial computing software provider Altoura, Qantas put a new Microsoft HoloLens 2 solution through its paces as part of a trial engineering training program.

“What we are testing in the proof of concept is whether mixed reality will sufficiently simulate an experience that is a reliable test of competency,” group learning technology manager for Qantas Amanda El Bahou said at the time. 

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