Microsoft unveiled its second-generation HoloLens augmented reality headset a few months, and at the time, it carried a hefty price tag—$3,500 for any enterprise customers who might be eager to order the commercial version. Now Microsoft has announced a Developer Edition of the HoloLens 2, but anyone hoping for a price break is going to be disappointed.
The newly announced HoloLens 2 Developer Edition also costs $3,500, so there is no special pricing on the hardware. Alternatively, users can opt for a $99 per month installment plan.
While the hardware is the same, there are a couple of value-added perks. The first is a $500 credit for Azure, including mixed reality services. This is not included with the commercial version that went up for preorder in February. The second perk is three free months of Unity Pro and the PIXYZ CAD plugin. Just as with the $500 Azure credit, this is not something Microsoft bundles with the commercial version.
Users are limited to one HoloLens 2 Development Edition headset, and it is not licensed for commercial use. It comes with a carrying case, overhead strap, microfiber cloth, charger, and USB-C cable. To buy the Developer Edition, uses need to be part of Microsoft's Mixed Reality Developer Program.
This is an interesting addition, giving the price point. It begs the question of whether the eventual consumer version will also cost $3,500, or if that will now be pushed down in price, since the Developer Edition is occupying that price point.
The HoloLens 2 delivers some notable improvements over the original HoloLens. Chief among them is a 2000x1500 resolution per eye, with the field of view area more than doubled on the latest iteration (albeit the claim is not without controversy).
HoloLens 2 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 processor and 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM. It offers 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, it can take 8-megapixel still shots, and has built-in speakers with spatial audio. Other features include eye and head tracking, Windows Hello support, and 6-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) tracking.