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February 15, 2018

A commercial version of HoloLens is available to rent in the U.S. and Canada

by John_A

Microsoft said on Tuesday, February 13, that customers residing in the United States and Canada can now rent the Commerical Suite version of HoloLens through Abcomrents. The idea is to provide companies with the opportunity to see if HoloLens is the right tool for their needs before sinking $5,000 into each headset. Unfortunately, Abcomrents could not provide a definitive rental price due to a pricing tier that depends on the number of units and the duration of the rental window. 

The Commercial Suite version targets enterprise users. It supports Microsoft’s Windows Store for Business, Bitlocker data encryption, support for Azure Active Directory for PIN-based identification, Windows Update for Business, and mobile device management support. There is a special kiosk mode too for showcasing specific HoloLens apps in a demo or on a showroom floor.  

“Anyone in your organization can remotely connect to the corporate network through a virtual private network on a HoloLens,” Abcomrents states. “HoloLens can also access Wi-Fi networks that require credentials.” 

With each Commercial Suite kit, you get the HoloLens headset, a clicker, a carrying case, a microfiber cloth, a charger, and a Micro USB 2.0 cable. Meanwhile, there is a lot of hardware powering the HoloLens platform itself such as see-through holographic lenses, four sensors that understand your environment, an embedded 2MP camera, four microphones, an ambient light sensor, a 32-bit Intel processor, 2GB of system memory, 64GB of storage, and loads more. It weighs around 1.27 pounds. 

In addition to enabling rentals in the United States and Canada, Microsoft plans to enable this program in additional markets in the coming months. Meanwhile, HoloLens as a product continues to spread across the globe, as Microsoft’s AR headset is now available in Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. That said, you can find HoloLens in 41 markets, including Australia, Denmark, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, and more. 

“The best part of my job is seeing what people around the world are doing with mixed reality,” says Microsoft’s Lorraine Bardeen, general manager of Mixed Reality Experiences. “The innovation and development we see on the platform inspires us to create the software and tools needed to bring the potential of mixed reality to life.” 

News of the HoloLens rental and expansion into two new markets comes at the heels of HP’s new Windows Mixed Reality Headset for processionals revealed last week. Honeywell Process Solutions also introduced Honeywell Connected Plant Skills Insight Immersive Competency, a cloud-based simulation tool. It uses mixed reality to train personnel regarding critical work activities. Both are just two recent examples of how industries across the globe are adopting mixed reality technology. 

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