Despite HoloLens being now almost two years old, Microsoft isn’t showing any signs of slowing down its plans for the AR headset. Today the company announced that the device is available in two more markets, with rental options rolling out, and a forthcoming hard hat solution to allow the headset to be used in more places.

HoloLens was first made available back in 2016 starting at $3,000 as a dev kit, and eventually offered at $5,000 as an enterprise package. It’s there in enterprise and commercial sectors where the headset seems to be seeing growing traction. Today the company has announced that they’re adding Singapore and the United Arab Emirates to the list of regions from which the device can be purchased, now totaling 41 countries.

Working with partner ABCOMRENTS, Microsoft is also now making HoloLens available as an enterprise equipment rental for companies who want to evaluate the device ahead of purchase or temporarily boost their inventory of headsets. Rentals are being offered initially in the US and Canada, and Microsoft says they’re working to bring the rental option to more markets in the months ahead.

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Supporting the headset in industries which regularly require that workers wear hard hats—like construction sites, offshore facilities, and mining—Microsoft has worked with Trimble to create an ANSI-approved HoloLens hard hat solution which integrates the headset with industry standard head protection, while ensuring that the headset’s enterprise warranty remains valid. Trimble’s HoloLens hard hat is expected to be available in Q1, though pricing hasn’t been confirmed.

Trimble has also launched the Trimble Connect app which consolidates information for on-site access:

Trimble Connect for HoloLens utilizes mixed-reality technology to take your 3D content off the screen and into the real-world, providing project stakeholders with enhanced 3D design review, coordination, collaboration, and project management processes. Built on the cloud-hosted Trimble Connect collaboration platform, Trimble Connect for HoloLens supports a new way of working with AECO models throughout the building lifecycle, from design to demolition.

The app is said to feature auto-alignment of 3D models over the real-world project.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • It’s interesting to see how Microsoft is betting a lot in using HoloLens in industrial applications

  • paul

    So what are people going to use this for on a job site?

    • kalqlate

      Too many uses to name, but primarily, to precisely overlay designs and plans over real-world development, to depict structures behind walls and under ground with precision, to give step-by-step instructions on repair or construction, etc.

      • paul

        Cool. I am very interested see how it will increase productivity. I love the idea of looking at a board on the ground and seeing it’s dimensions pop up. No pulling out a tape and measuring.

        • kalqlate

          Indeed! Further, with included connectivity to cloud AI processing, parts recognition and presentation of detail info, manuals, and exploded 3-D views with virtual rotation, zoom-in/zoom-out.

      • sebrk

        Yeah in a best case scenario. This is not what the Hololens will provide however. It is a joke in terms of hardware and the UWP platform sucks as always. I’d stay clear of Hololens for now. It’s a show off product at best.

  • Konchu

    So just a though I had these really hurt the ability to wear safety Goggles and do not offer full eye protection. Aka I see too much eye from the side. If you want to get this out in the workplace which I think could be cool it needs to have the plastic wrap around a little more and function as safety glasses itself.

  • sebrk

    When will this show off product die? Hololens has been the biggest hype and false advertising I’ve yet to experience in this field. Been working with it for a year now. A complete mess. Looks like they are selling out stock or something. It’s just crapware.