The other major advantage the HoloLens 2 has is its native connection to the Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure, an instance of what is increasingly being called the metaverse. This tight integration means that the Azure cloud is optimized to provide remote rendering of virtual constructs on the HoloLens 2.

Also, Microsoft Mesh, which is built on the Azure cloud platform, allows HoloLens 2 users to collaborate in real-time remotely while experiencing and manipulating virtual presentations and design projects together. These functions are available to HoloLens 2 users immediately.

Magic Leap has developed several powerful software applications. Instead of deploying its own cloud platform, it opted to partner with Google Cloud. (Google was one of the company’s earliest investors.) for its own software offerings. “We are cloud agnostic,” said Johnson. “If a customer comes in, whoever their cloud partner is, we can work in that environment.”

There are less expensive AR alternatives for business users, such as Lenovo’s ThinkReality A3 ($1,500) and the Vuzix Blade ($1,000), but those devices don’t offer the visual and tracking features offered by the Magic Leap and Microsoft devices. The Magic Leap 2 goes on sale to business customers on Sept. 30.

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