Microsoft HoloLens, the mixed-reality headset, is now available as part of a subscription programme that’s been launched across Europe.
Users can download apps onto the device, which allows people to easily create 3D holograms and interact with them, to help their companies and organisations improve how they work.
HoloLens is being used by companies to hold virtual meetings, as well as by universities training nurses, police forces and paramedics, among others.
UK company JTRS and its parent firm Econocom, which offer the new “Mixed Reality as a Service” package, will offer HoloLens to customers from £260 per device, per month for two years. The price includes the device, delivery, a swap warranty, and collection and recycling at the end of the term.
“The aim of this partnership between Microsoft and Econocom is to help our clients speed up their digital transformation,” said Paul Corriveau, Microsoft’s Global Head of Network Marketing and Partners for HoloLens. “By offering mixed reality ‘as a service’, Econocom is establishing itself as a market leader and confirming its commitment to making mixed reality and 3D technologies accessible to any company looking to improve its productivity and ways of working.”
JTRS also offers add-on options to the subscription, including an ability to increase the number of HoloLens devices received and keeping some of them when the term ends. The company can also set up the headsets before delivery and offers starter packs and training.
Users will be able to include additional subscription to apps and software from VISR, Assoria, Conseil 3D, Diota, Holoforge Interactive, Immersion, Nomadeec, Plain Concepts, Synergiz, Taqtile and Theoris.
“With the HoloLens partnership, we’ve brought together a community of companies, all of whom are leaders in their markets and are committed to facilitating companies’ access to mixed reality, said Marc Bringuier, Strategic and International Partnership Manager at Econocom. “This technology and solutions are now becoming accessible to all companies.”
Leila Martine, Director of Product Marketing at Microsoft, added: “We are excited to be teaming up with JTRS and forging more accessible ways for customers to benefit from HoloLens. Customers can now get up and running much quicker, with HoloLens and apps, whether it be for space planning, industrial or educational training, use within design, maintenance or operations. This time to market advantage can be material to how companies save time and money, today.”
HoloLens is available in 39 countries and can also be bought directly from Microsoft.
Rather than place users in a fully computer-generated world, as virtual reality does, HoloLens allows users to put 3D digital models in the room alongside them. As the Windows-10-based product does not have wires or external cameras, or require a phone or PC connection, users can walk around the objects they create and interact with them using gestures, gaze and voice.
A solution from Lifelique lets teachers create holographic 3D models so students can examine science concepts. Meanwhile, Kazendi’s solution allows people wearing HoloLens to hold meetings using holograms of themselves. It also allows them to share documents and collaborate in that space.
The new Mixed Reality as a Service package will allow more companies to take advantage of a technology sector that market intelligence firm IDC predicts will see global revenues of more than $162 billion in 2020 – up from $5.2 billion in 2016.