HoloLens 2 heads to South Korea, Taiwan and more countries

Microsoft is ramping up availability to meet remote collaboration demands.

Mat Smith/Engadget

It's been over six months since Microsoft's HoloLens 2 started shipping to customers -- now, the company says it's aiming to bring the augmented reality headset to more countries by the end of the year. That includes Spain, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong. Additionally, Microsoft plans to let customers buy HoloLens 2 from its online store starting this summer.

According to Microsoft's director of Mixed Reality, Greg Sullivan, the company is accelerating its plans to open up the HoloLens 2 market after seeing plenty of strong demand. That makes sense, since an AR headset is one of the few ways companies can collaborate during the COVID-19 pandemic. And it's also being used for remote learning: Case Western Reserve University sent Hololens 2 units to 185 first year students for anatomy courses.

"They redesigned their anatomy courses and literally rebuilt classrooms to support this joint collaborative, shared holographic experience," Sullivan said, describing Case Western's early HoloLens implementation. "In pandemic land, they're all at home, so they realized, 'We've got all the pieces in place to continue this collaboration and do it remotely.'... They conducted the anatomy classes remotely and it was really successful."

Microsoft is also implementing new features to make the HoloLens 2 experience better for businesses and developers alike. Azure Spatial Anchors can help render 3D models across HoloLens, iOS and Android, which helps services like Spatial's remote conferencing. Azure Remote Rendering, meanwhile, can pipe in higher quality 3D assets from the cloud that the headset couldn't possibly render on its own.

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