You will need to be part of Microsoft’s mixed reality developer program to purchase it.
Microsoft introduced the mixed reality (MR) HoloLens 2 headset during the Mobile World Congress (MWC) a few months ago with a launch scheduled for the end of this year. There will actually be two versions, since Redmond has just announced the release of HoloLens 2 Development Edition, offering an easier way to use the developer platform.
Microsoft is working with Unity for the HoloLens 2 Development Edition, so customers who purchase a headset will receive a 3-month trial of Unity Pro and PiXYZ Plugin as part of the agreement. Microsoft will also give $ 500 USD as a discount on Azure.
One of the biggest obstacles to the development of MR was the cost. The original HoloLens costs $ 3,000, and HoloLens 2 retails $ 3,500. To attract more studios to the platform, HoloLens 2 Development Edition will be released at the end of this year, starting at $ 99 per month (or you cannot buy it right away) for registered participants of the Microsoft Mixed Reality Developer Program (which everyone can be part of). In addition, HoloLens 2 Development Edition will not be available for pre-order, so the developers program is the only way to get this edition (standard HoloLens 2 can be pre-ordered).
“By combining HoloLens 2, Azure MR services and the Unity platform, we are making it easier than ever for developers who can begin to create a real-time 3D experience that drives this 3rd wave of computer technology,” said Matt Fleckenstein, senior director of Microsoft Mixed Reality, in a statement.
“Pairing HoloLens 2 with Unity’s 3D platform allows industrial businesses to create exciting interactive experiences that speed production and reduce costs. Adding Unity Pro and PiXYZ Plugin makes it easy to import 3D design data in minutes, not hours like before, ”adds Tim McDonough, GM of Unity.
Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 has a number of improvements over the previous model. The field of view (FOV) has been expanded, eye tracking is now embedded inward, as is full hand tracking. The headset is now considered more comfortable due to a change in the center of balance, plus the front part of it is now flipped over to quickly and easily enter and exit MR mode.
There is currently no specific release date for HoloLens 2. When these details are made public, VRcue will let you know.