From architecture to medicine and education, Microsoft knows that HoloLens has huge potential in the commercial space, and it's now giving the headset a bigger push in Europe by bringing on a handful of partners to help make interesting and useful holographic apps.
Six European-based digital agencies are being added to the HoloLens Agency Readiness Partner program: Black Marble, Fundamental VR, HoloForge, Immersion, Rewind and Zuhlke. Like the 10 partners announced last year, all of these new names will be getting some special one-on-one training time with Microsoft to help them get the most out of the headset. They'll then use this expertise to build better, more interesting holographic apps for businesses.
Partners have already worked on apps for companies, such as one made for Lowe's that let customers visualise kitchen renovations in-store using the headset. You can get a better idea of what we're talking about in the video, released last year, below.
Ok, so this doesn't mean much for Minecraft, but mixed reality (and virtual reality) are going to be huge in the commercial space, and the upshot of this announcement is that it's going to mean more holographic applications that are actually useful for people, not just entertaining. And of course if HoloLens becomes a bigger success in business, it will drive down the price for consumers. So everyone's a winner.
Word has it that Microsoft HoloLens 2 - aka the HoloLens we may actually buy - won't appear until 2019, giving Microsoft time to make more substantial improvements to the headset. Currently HoloLens is only available in its developer version, for which you'll pay an eye-watering $3,000 for the privilege of owning.