Microsoft partners with Unity for HoloLens 2 dev kit bundle

May 3, 2019 | 10:52

Tags: #ar #ar-headset #augmented-reality #hololens #hololens-2 #mixed-reality #tim-mcdonough #unity-pixyz-plugin #unity-pro #windows-mixed-reality

Companies: #microsoft #unity

Microsoft is continuing to push its HoloLens 2 augmented reality hardware at developers, announcing a new bundle which includes a three-month trial of the Unity Pro 3D engine and related computer aided design (CAD) plugin.

Unveiled back in February, the HoloLens 2 headset builds on the company's earlier HoloLens design with improved field-of-view, eye-tracking sensors, and a more comfortable design. Where the original had promised a new world of gaming, however, its sequel concentrates wholly on the professional market - and the $3,000 price tag of the first HoloLens Development Edition, which never led to a commercial release, was bumped to $3,500 for its successor.

Now, Microsoft is doing its best to attract users by adding a little value into that bundle: While the HoloLens 2 Development Edition remains priced at an eye-watering $3,500, Microsoft has confirmed it is adding a $99-a-month subscription service offering and bundling $500 of credit for its Azure cloud computing platform. To prove its chops, the company has also partnered with Unity to add a three-month trial of the Unity Pro 3D development platform and its Unity PiXYZ plugin for computer aided design (CAD) use.

'Pairing HoloLens 2 with Unity's real-time 3D development platform enables businesses to accelerate innovation, create immersive experiences, and engage with industrial customers in more interactive ways,' claims Unity's Tim McDonough. 'The addition of Unity Pro and PiXYZ Plugin to HoloLens 2 Development Edition gives businesses the immediate ability to create real- time 2D, 3D, VR, and AR interactive experiences while allowing for the importing and preparation of design data to create real-time experiences.'

Microsoft remains one of the few companies chasing the augmented, rather than virtual, reality headset market: Its major competitor in the field is Magic Leap, which sells its Magic Leap One Creator Edition in the US for $2,295.

The new bundle will be available later this year, Microsoft and Unity have confirmed, though a firm date has not yet been set.

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