Microsoft Introduces New Edition HoloLens 2 for Industrial Environments
Last week saw Microsoft introducing a new edition HoloLens 2 designed, built and tested to support uses in regulated industrial environments.
The new edition is known as HoloLens 2 Industrial Edition and is designed to meet industry standards. These include uses in clean rooms for chip manufacturing and drug research as well as in high-risk work environments in the energy sector.
The HoloLens 2 Industrial Edition meets the following standards: –
- Clean Room Compatible Standard: ISO 14644-1 Class 5-8
- Intrinsic Safety Standard: UL Class I, Division 2
Buyers will also get a two-year warranty and a ‘Rapid Replacement Program’, the option of replacing the device quickly and easily in case of repairs in order to minimize downtimes in industrial environments, with “advance exchange and expedited shipping.”
Microsoft named three industrial application scenarios for which its HoloLens Industrial Edition offers advantages. For example, employees can request expert help hands-free over long distances, use of 3D manuals and instructions and training new trainees a lot quicker with interactive 3D models.
The HoloLens 2 Industrial Edition is set to ship in the Spring of 2021 and will cost $4,950. It can be pre-ordered now.
Microsoft began shipping its HoloLens 2 headset in November 2019 as an enterprise-level and standalone Augmented Reality headset with a price tag of $3,500. The HoloLens 2 was the successor to the original HoloLens and was a considerable improvement over the original in terms of accessibility and comfort. In June 2020, Microsoft made the HoloLens 2 headset available for purchase directly for its non-enterprise customers although it still carried the same $3,500 price tag.
The HoloLens 2 Industrial Edition is even more expensive at $4,950 per unit. The higher price tag likely covers the new standards as well as the Rapid Replacement Program, Microsoft’s comprehensive replacement program for the VR headset. The industrial environments where it will be used will be fraught with incidents and accidents that will require the headsets to be repaired and replaced with a higher frequency.
In August 2020, Microsoft also released a new HoloLens 2 application that enables doctors and nurses to safely identify COVID-19 symptoms in patients via volumetric capture techniques.
Microsoft Driving the AR Business
With its AR investments, Microsoft is driving the AR business almost in the same way that Facebook is driving the VR business.
The standard HoloLens 2 initially faced delivery issues for a long time as a result of display manufacturing issues. Compared to the original HoloLens, the HoloLens 2 offers users better ergonomics, hand tracking and a bigger field of view.
Microsoft has been busy with the HoloLens 2 lately. There was a major update in the AR headsets that brought the integration of the Edge browser as well as a swipe-to-type keyboard. Microsoft also organized industry get-togethers for HoloLens users at the end of January as well as a 24-hour online event on February 9th.
The tech giant is currently the market leader in advanced Augmented Reality for enterprise, a position that Magic Leap has been keen on occupying for quite some time. Magic Leap is set to launch new and improved Magic Leap glasses later in the year.
HoloLens 2 Industrial Edition will begin shipping in Spring this year and the pre-orders are already open for all the current HoloLens 2 markets.
Check out the Microsoft blog for more on its HoloLens 2 Industrial Edition.