Microsoft pushes discounted HoloLens 2 into education • The Register

The HoloLens 2 has been around long enough, some might see a reduction in the oft-quoted high price. In this case, it is the educational establishments eligible for a rate of 10% reduction.

Customers with long memories could remember something similar is happening with HoloLens 1 shortly before the augmented reality visor is replaced by its updated sequel.

The discount applies to the still very expensive price HoloLens 2 Development Editionwhich retails for $3,500 and includes goodies such as $500 Azure credits and a three-month Unity Pro license in the bundle.

Microsoft believes the headsets will “augment education with virtual collaboration and educational experience” and, as usual, have raised the specter of COVID-19 and hybrid learning.

While the mixed reality experience is certainly impressive (we grabbed a few after launch in 2019 and found the experience to be a marked improvement over the original model), we can’t imagine that too much. Many schools are willing or able to give up serious amounts of cashing in devices and, worse, allowing students to hang out with them. Not when you could probably outfit an entire class of Chromebooks for not much more.

As if to underscore the point, Microsoft cited Case Western University, an institution in Cleveland, OH, as a customer where the devices had proven useful through a custom application called “HoloAnatomy.”

The University reported that students using the app scored 50% better on retention tests and needed 40% less class time. Hardly a general purpose device.

Holo Lens 2

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The HoloLens had its issues. The U.S. military halted the deployment of helmets last year and reports surfaced earlier this year suggesting that all was not well in Microsoft’s mixed reality department, something that HoloLens boss Alex Kipman was saying quick to deny.

Microsoft also delivered the Version 22H1 of Windows Holographic (HoloLens 2 only – HoloLens 1 stopped receiving updates several years ago), including updates for mobile platform mode.

However, the arrival of the 10% offer is a hint that a HoloLens 3, whatever form it takes, could be imminent. ®

Norma A. Roth