HoloLens Development Edition. (credit: Microsoft)
Much of the interest around augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) has focused on consumers and, in particular, gaming, but if those technologies are to become a significant and sustained part of the computing landscape, these things probably need to find markets beyond entertainment. Microsoft has been pushing its HoloLens AR headset as an enterprise product, and today the company greatly expanded its availability.
Previously available in ten countries, Microsoft has added a further 29 European markets, bringing HoloLens to 39 countries in total.
While the headset remains priced far out of reach of consumers, Redmond is championing it as a device with a wide range of industrial applications.

Ford, for example, is using HoloLens headsets to improve its design process, allowing modifications of both its clay models and real cars to be viewed and modified on the fly, without having to re-sculpt or rebuild anything.

ThyssenKrupp has trialled equipping the technicians that service the elevators that the company builds with HoloLens headsets.

They can use the headsets to show engineers the faults they’re trying to diagnose, and likewise those engineers can annotate the physical infrastructure in front of them to highlight problem areas and guide maintenance and repairs—and all while leaving the technician’s hands free.
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