HoloLens to launch in China at the end of this month

Microsoft HoloLens — the company’s advanced “mixed reality” headset — will finally launch in China at the end of this month, by May 24.

The headset started shipping to developers in the United States and Canada in March 2016, it has gradually expanded its markets to different countries like Australia, England, Ireland, France, and Germany.

See also: Bringing AR to elevator servicing with HoloLens

The official website of Microsoft China has opened links to pre-order for the business kit and developer kit. However, both of these kits are not available to normal users at this time, and even the business users will have to fill out an application to reserve it. Both of the two kits will only be provided in English.

Different from other products of VR/AR technologies, Microsoft HoloLens is the leader in MR (Mixed Reality) technology. The wireless and smart glasses design of HoloLens makes it more advanced compared with other VR headsets on the market. According to a Chinese technology website’s review, it also felt much more comfortable.

What are the differences between Mixed Reality and VR/AR?

VR emphasize the total virtual environment and experience, while AR technology is based on real environment, and adding virtual images and information. As for Mixed Reality, it combines the two technologies and adds much more realistic information than the AR technology, so that users can immerse into a more astonishing virtual world. Most of the professionals believe that there is only a slight difference between MR and AR.

However, companies will try to spotlight the slight differences to make their products distinguished from others. Magic Leap, which was founded in 2011 in Dania Florida, is another major company in the MR market. According to the data from our VB Profiles, Magic Leap has established 6 years ago and they haven’t released any commercial products yet. However, they have already raised $1.39 billion in three series of funding campaigns. In February 2016, the company collected $794 million from the series C funding, and it was lead by Alibaba.

So what are the differences between Mixed Reality and VR/AR? VR emphasize the total virtual environment and experience, while AR technology is based on real environment, and adding virtual images and information. As for Mixed Reality, it combines the two technologies and adds much more realistic information than the AR technology, so that users can immerse into a more astonishing virtual world. Most of the professionals believe that there is only a slight difference between MR and AR. However, companies will try to spotlight the slight differences to make their products distinguished from others.

Magic Leap, which was founded in 2011 in Dania Florida, is another major company in the MR market. According to the data from our VB Profiles, Magic Leap has established 6 years ago and they haven’t released any commercial products yet. However, they have already raised $1.39 billion in three series of funding campaigns. In February 2016, the company collected $794 million from the series C funding, and it was lead by Alibaba.

A billion dollar market

Due to the strong connections between MR and AR/VR technologies, competition among companies in these markets is intensive as well. VB Profiles reports the total funding of VR Tools/Platform market has now reached to $2.67 billion.

Oculus, which was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $2 billion, is another popular company alongside Microsoft HoloLens. This Irvine, California-based company was founded in 2012, and before acquired, they had already raised $93.4 million in three series.

In March 2015, Oculus released its Virtual Reality headset Oculus Rift and soon became one of the best headsets on the VR market. However, this March, the former CMO of Oculus, Elizabeth Hamren, has become the new Corporate Vice President of the MR team of Microsoft according to LinkedIn information. In June 2015, Microsoft and Oculus were partnered to provide a better gaming experience for Xbox One, but now the competition between them is getting more intensive.

For normal customers and users, it may be hard to understand those terminologies, but at the same time, the intensive competition among those companies will help us to get into this new era of virtual technology quickly. Then finally let us experience the most authentic and groundbreaking new products. Microsoft HoloLens will step into the China market, which is the world’s biggest market for virtual reality according to them. We should expect that HoloLens would be the perfect production of virtual technology.

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