After the U.S. Army awarded Microsoft a nearly $22 billion deal in exchange for 120,000-plus custom HoloLens headsets, many wondered what the army's plans were for the gadgets. Now, we have an idea of what the headsets will be used for.
Augmented and mixed reality are often seen as the next major revolution in mobile computing. But Microsoft is the only company on the market right now literally making billions, while others are still in development. While Apple is likely to do well in the consumer market, Microsoft is poised for the rest.
In 2016, Microsoft showed off a concept of 'holoportation' using 3D scans of people to "beam them" to a virtual location. Today, the company is making it a reality with Microsoft Mesh's announcement, a new mixed-reality platform powered by its Azure cloud service. The company is also teaming up with James Cameron, Niantic, and Guy Laliberté of Cirque du Soleil to use the tech in real life.
A Microsoft employee recently shared a video of the new "swipe to type" keyboard on the HoloLens 2. The feature allows you to swipe on a virtual keyboard in a similar way to using a smartphone's digital keyboard.
Microsoft has released the MSIX installer packages of Edge Insider channels for Windows 10X and HoloLens 2 today. Microsoft previewed the new Microsoft Edge on Windows 10X earlier this year, and the availability of the MSIX allows Windows 10X emulator testers to install an Insider channel of their choice.
Microsoft's HoloLens 2 headset went on general sale at the Microsoft Store earlier this year, but now the Development Edition is available in the U.S. with free Azure credits and trials for various development tools for $3,500.
Microsoft's HoloLens 2 is now available in 14 new markets, with South Korean coming later this fall. Besides wider availability, Microsoft is highlighting some real-world use cases with HoloLens 2 by major companies as examples of how the tech can streamline production and manufacturing.
Microsoft's latest HoloLens headset, the HoloLens 2, has only been available to developers for several months. However, now it's open for anyone to order directly from the Microsoft Store — if you have $3,500 to spare.
HoloLens research mode allows you to see data from the headset's sensors. Research mode on the HoloLens 2 gets you data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer in addition to the data you can get from the original HoloLens.
Mozilla announced Firefox Reality for HoloLens 2 today. The Virtual and augmented reality browser will let HoloLens 2 users browse the web and experiment with augmented reality elements on HoloLens 2. This also marks the first Firefox Reality launch on the Microsoft Store.
Microsoft is adding fifteen new markets for HoloLens 2 starting this fall, bringing the total to twenty-five. Additionally, beginning this summer, customers can purchase HoloLens 2 directly from Microsoft's online and physical stores. Azure Spatial Anchors is now generally available, and Azure Remote Rendering is now available as a public preview. Finally, Microsoft highlights some real-world usage of HoloLens 2 to help address the current pandemic.
Microsoft is teed up to host its Mixed Reality Dev Days again for 2020. The even takes places on May 16-17 in Redmond, Washington. After that, Mixed Reality Dev Days is also set to go on tour in Germany and Japan.