Microsoft has taken a cautious approach to HoloLens since the original headset debuted way back in 2016. The first edition never really became a widely available product, while HoloLens 2 has been similarly slow in rolling out. It arrived as just a commercial edition before the Development Edition arrived a year later in 2020.
Now Microsoft is expanding the availability of its mixed reality/augmented reality headset again. This time, the company says pre-orders for the HoloLens 2 Industrial Edition are now open. Customers who jump on board with a pre-order will receive the Industrial Edition when it ships this spring.
Microsoft points out that demand for HoloLens 2 in industrial situations is now enough to justify this version:
“As part of listening, and always learning, we heard strong demand for HoloLens 2 to operate in environments that have rigorous requirements or are regulated by industry certifications.”
Microsoft says three major customers – Mercedes-Benz USA, Lockheed Martin, and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust – have already benefitted form HoloLens 2 Industrial Edition. For example, Mercedes is using Microsoft's device to help make services more efficient. The company has seen a 35 to 40 percent decrease in service technician travel since adopting HoloLens.
Importantly for industry, HoloLens 2 Industrial Edition is clean room capable and has ISO 14644-1 Class 5-8 rating. Furthermore, it is certified for Intrinsic safety (UL Class I, Division 2).
According to the company, HoloLens 2 can bring the following benefits to industry customers:
- “Provide workers with access to remote experts any time they need it.
- Complete tasks faster and more accurately than ever before with interactive 3D guides.
- Train and onboard new employees faster with a “learning by doing” approach.”
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