Microsoft is opening up sales of its HoloLens augmented reality headset. In a blog post today, project head Alex Kipman said that all "developers and business customers" in the US and Canada can now order up to five HoloLens development kits apiece, instead of going through an application process. It’s taking orders through the HoloLens website, requiring only a Microsoft account — and, of course, $3,000 per headset.
Microsoft kept HoloLens under wraps for a long time, and it carefully vetted would-be buyers for the first wave of headsets, which started shipping in March. Kipman said that all of these early orders have been filled, although we don’t know how many HoloLens kits are actually in the wild right now. While Microsoft is still positioning HoloLens as purely for developers, sales are effectively open to anyone. Where the previous order page required an invitation letter, the new one uses a standard checkout system. Given the high price and early state of the hardware, this is a purely academic distinction for most people, but it makes things much simpler for people who want to experiment with the headset.
We still haven’t seen a consumer edition of HoloLens, much less any pricing or release date for one. But companies and research institutes, including NASA JPL, have been working on a wide variety of potential uses. Along with the new purchasing rules, the company is also launching a HoloLens package called the Microsoft HoloLens Commercial Suite, which adds various security and control features to the headset — like a "kiosk mode" that limits it to running certain apps.
Update 5:13PM ET: Added new checkout link from Microsoft, and updated text to match.