• Microsoft HoloLens AR Headset

Microsoft HoloLens AR Headset (Photo : Twitter)

Microsoft's HoloLens augmented reality (AR) headset is now available to the general public in the United States and Canada. The Development Edition smart glasses were released in late March but were only available to software developers. AR fans can now buy up to five mixed-reality headsets directly from the software giant instead of following an application process.

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The $3,000 price tag for the HoloLens is fairly high. In comparison  to virtual reality (VR) headsets, HTC Vive is $799, Oculus Rift costs $599, and Samsung Gear VR is priced at $99.    

Microsoft officially states that HoloLens is for developers and businesses as it is the Development Edition. However, it will still sell AR headsets to customers at the cost of renting a one-bedroom Los Angeles apartment.

Microsoft points out that its retail stores have no inventory of HoloLens units.

The tech company also announced on August 2, Tuesday it is launching the HoloLens Commercial Suite. It includes hardware, security, and management features for businesses, according to Tech Crunch.     

A new Kiosk Mode is one of the key features of the enterprise suite. It includes the ability to limit apps, support for identity and device management, and BitLocker data encryption.  

Several of the new features also connect HoloLens to a business' ecosystem. That includes functions such as managing multiple HoloLens headsets, adding OS updates, and linking to in-house Wi-Fi networks.   

The Washington-based company added the first major update to HoloLens software months ago. This new one was released with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.   

The HoloLens software is named Holographic. Microsoft claimed that the update boosts Holographic 's speed and reliability.  

Developers have already made some dazzling AR experiences for HoloLens. They include Spartans from "Halo" and the surface of Mars.   

Microsoft's HoloLens update shows it hopes to get the AR device in the enterprise market. The company is a major player due to products including Windows 10 commercial editions.

In related news, Samsung announced on August 2, Tuesday that it is updating Gear VR. New features for the VR headset include a wider field of view and USB Type-C compatibility, according to The Verge.

The new Gear VR will go on sale August 19 and still cost $99. 

Here's a 2016 HoloLens demo: