The HoloLens 2 is gaining more momentum. Microsoft today is announcing new markets where the mixed-reality headset is now available to order.
Those 15 markets, including Netherlands, Sweden, and Hong Kong, were initially announced back in May as “coming to.” In contrast, today, Microsoft reports that they are now available (the one exception being South Korea, which is due later this fall).
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Netherlands (Now Available)
- Switzerland (Now Available)
- Spain (Now Available)
- Austria (Now Available)
- Sweden (Now Available)
- Finland (Now Available)
- Norway (Now Available)
- Denmark (Now Available)
- Belgium (Now Available)
- Portugal (Now Available)
- Poland (Now Available)
- Singapore (Now Available)
- South Korea (Later this fall)
- Hong Kong (Now Available)
- Taiwan (Now Available)
Besides market expansion, Microsoft is also taking the time to highlight some real-world usage and results from companies that have adopted HoloLens 2 into their production and manufacturing process. These case-studies are essential as they demonstrate that mixed reality is more than just some cool tech; it can save time, money, and effort.
Some of the highlights from the press announcement include Lockheed Martin, who have been using HoloLens since 2017:
Lockheed Martin/NASA, United States
- Mixed reality solutions with the HoloLens 2 has dramatically reduced touch labor; what used to require an 8-hour shift can now be completed in just 45 minutes.
- With the HoloLens, Lockheed Martin has reported zero errors in 2+ years with the Orion spacecraft.
- The Orion spacecraft has over 57,000 fasteners; Lockheed Martin is saving $38/fastener installation.
Medivis, United States
- Successfully completed more than 200 surgeries with the HoloLens.
- Decreased radiation exposure to patients. On average, patients of SurgicalAR averaged 1 CT scan compared to 10 CT scans with traditional 2D surgical solutions.
- Demonstrated the potential to place catheters with 1 mm accuracy (versus the 2.2 cm accuracy that is often typical today)
Case Western Reserve University, United States
- Students who used HoloAnatomy and HoloLens 2 experienced a 50% improvement in grades versus students who used a textbook.
- Students who used HoloAnatomy and HoloLens 2 retained 120% more knowledge over 12-months of learning versus students who did not have access to HoloAnatomy and HoloLens 2.
Finally, Microsoft also announced that Azure Object Anchors, which is part of the broader Azure mixed reality services, is now available as a private preview. Azure Object Anchors lets developers add physical markers, allowing applications to align 3D content to real-world objects.
Toyota is currently using the technology with HoloLens 2, and Koichi Kayano, Program Manager Technical Service Division at Toyota, gave the following statement to Microsoft:
“Azure Object Anchors enables our technicians to service vehicles more quickly and accurately thanks to markerless and dynamic 3D model alignment. It has removed our need for QR codes and eliminated the risk of error from manual model alignment, thus making our maintenance procedures more efficient.”
The momentum for HoloLens 2, at least in private enterprise, seems to be growing. Back in May, Microsoft announced the availability of a 5G/LTE dongle for the mixed reality headset for companies that want to go mobile. In June, HoloLens 2 went on sale directly in the Microsoft Store for $3,500, letting anyone order one.
Mixed Reality for Microsoft is still years from “replacing every screen,”, but it is clear the path is being forged today.