Ahead of its upcoming Build conference later this month, Microsoft has announced the HoloLens 2 Development Edition to help jump-start developers mixed reality efforts.
The company first unveiled the second edition of its mixed reality headset at this year's Mobile World Congress though the device has yet to ship out to developers. As of now, we know that HoloLens 2 will launch later this year with the Development Edition arriving alongside the standard version of the headset.
The HoloLens 2 Development Edition will cost $3,500 to buy outright or developers can choose to pay $99 per month with Microsoft's installment plan.
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The Development Edition does not include any special hardware or different features from the retail version of the HoloLens 2 but instead includes $500 in Azure credits as well as a three-month trial of Unity Pro and Unity PiXYZ plugin to help bring engineering renderings into Unity.
HoloLens 2 Development Edition
Those interested in purchasing the Development Edition of the HoloLens 2 will first have to join the Microsoft Mixed Reality Developer Program by signing up on its site. However, those who have already pre-ordered the standard edition will be able to change their order later this year.
The news that the Development Edition will cost $3,500 could be a sign that the regular edition could release at a lower price point once it's available for purchase later this year.
GM of Industrial at Unity, Tim McDonough explained what developers will be able to achieve by pairing HoloLens 2 with its platform in a blog post, saying:
“Pairing HoloLens 2 with Unity’s real-time 3D platform enables industrial businesses to create immersive, interactive experiences that accelerate business and reduce costs. The addition of Unity Pro and the PiXYZ Plugin makes it easy to import 3D design data in minutes rather than hours. 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 also revealed that Unreal Engine 4 support for HoloLens 2 will be available by the end of May.