Haven’t been able to make it to any of the big gaming expos (or you don’t know anyone with the $3,000 AR headset)? Microsoft Stores across the US and Canada are now hosting free HoloLens demos, so you can finally see what the hubbub is all about.

Appointments, a Microsoft phone operator told Road to VR, aren’t necessarily required in some cases, although this depends on the location, so it’s best to confirm beforehand to double-check that both a demo unit and demo slot is available. At the time of this writing, no online sign-up sheet is available specific to HoloLens demos, only a list of participating stores.

While you’re at it, if you haven’t tried out the company’s swath of VR headsets (dubbed Microsoft “Mixed Reality” headsets), you might request another demo on top of your time with HoloLens.

Here’s the full list of the participating Microsoft Stores:























New Hampshire

New Jersey

New York

North Carolina











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British Columbia

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 4,000 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Sandy Wich

    Sigh… Of course no demo near me. Anyone get lucky to land one near them and wanna report back what they think of it when it’s available? :D

  • Trenix

    One is close to me, wonder if I should go. I called and they barely knew anything about the demos.

    • dk

      all u have to know is the bloom and pinch gesture and it needs to be charged and it needs wifi for downloading a couple of apps if it doesn’t have a few things installed to try

      • NooYawker

        I’m pretty sure they will have everything they need installed.

      • Trenix

        The gesture thing shouldn’t be changed, it should be removed. It’s as annoying as using gestures for a TV.

  • R FC

    If you can find a demo..definitely go.

    Its a really interesting piece of equipment, currently feels somewhat limited, but shows the potential of future developments as the technology matures.

  • MarquisDeSang

    No love for Quebec? I know that french speaking people are always +5 years behind because they don’t speak white.

    • JJ

      french people are white… just so you know.

      • Graham

        Ha ha – good old marquis does come out with some unintentionally fantastic comments…

  • Mateusz Pawluczuk

    Seems they’re worried about Magic Leap ;) I’m only partly ironic here – Magic Leap didn’t show us anything groundbreaking but timing makes it look like Microsoftis trying to take some spotlight away.

  • Adam Dent

    Tried one in the store in Toronto. Its a very interesting device as an RnD thing, but is no where close to an acceptable device for business or consumer use.

    It was heavy, small fov, and difficult to interact with the apps in a meaningful way with just a pinch gesture. The bloom gesture was just for opening the menu. And that’s all you do. Pinch and Bloom! Also you could not make things opaque enough to get them to feel like they were really in front of you. So the sense of presence was utterly lacking and as a result of this every app they showed me kinda fell flat on it’s face.

    What I did like was the AR aspect of it… I never once felt disoriented or dizzy like I sometimes do in VR, They did a good job with the audio and speakers. Everything was loud and clear. And it did a good job with room tracking too. But none of that makes up for be bad fov or limited interactivity.

    Also, Microsoft… you have to train your demonstrators about the device. They seemed to have very limited knowledge of it, and even mentioned that the main Microsoft “head office” people don’t give them any real information to work with. They were unable to answer basic questions like, “can you connect an xbox controller to it?”

    For anyone considering buying one, I highly recommend doing your own research on the device and trying one out first. Once you have it on your head and know the pinch and bloom gestures, ignore the sales guys and just play with it for 30 min. You’ll know pretty fast whether it makes sense for your business or not.

  • An answer to Magic Leap that is going to offer demos in AT&T stores?

  • Trenix

    I went to a demo, it’s really not worth it at all. The FOV is EXTREMELY tiny. There is no way that you will be using this for business purposes, you wont be able to see the whole project you’re working on with a single glance. It has a far lower FOV than a regular VR headset and it’s worth quite a few thousand. Microsoft should just stick to computers.