HoloLens was announced one year ago today, and Microsoft celebrated the occasion by trumpeting the mixed reality headset's progress so far.
March has actually been quite busy on the MR front. Microsoft rebranded Windows Holographic to Windows Mixed Reality to better reflect its hopes for XR on Windows; expanded the HoloLens Agency Readiness Partner Program to offer "extensive, hands-on training" to six more European companies; and has now wrapped up the year with a blog post and video summarizing much of what's been happening in the world of HoloLens.
Microsoft highlighted these tidbits in its blog post:
- Over 150 exclusive mixed reality apps are now available in the Windows Store.
- HoloLens is available in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan, France, Germany, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the United States and we will begin to ship in China before summer.
- We have expanded the promise of mixed reality by making it attainable for everyone. Windows Mixed Reality, the HoloLens software platform, is built into Windows 10, opening an ecosystem of hardware and software that will revolutionize how we interact with people, places and things.
Many other things have been going on with HoloLens. Developers have started to experiment with game concepts that take advantage of the MR headset, Microsoft created a jerry-rigged Spectator View to help businesses show off MR's potential, and a company called Stryker has signed on to use HoloLens to design better operating rooms. One dev even built an experimental experience that combined HoloLens with the HTC Vive.
We also learned more about the HoloLens' internals and how its Holographic Processing Unit works. To say that we're waiting to learn more about the MR headset would be an understatement. Alas, Microsoft said in its blog post that we aren't going to slake our thirst for knowledge until the Build 2017 conference, which runs May 10-12 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. Here's hoping that post-birthday bash is illuminating.