HoloLens, the virtual reality headset from Microsoft, launched new software that allows users to browse the Web with hand gestures and view virtual 3-D objects in real-world environments, according to Popular Science's Peter Hess. The software will allow uses to shop for furniture online and view the pieces in their real-life homes.
Microsoft calls this augmented reality experience, in which 3-D holograms overlay your real physical environment, "mixed reality." But that won't help consumers who can't afford the HoloLens' $3,000 price tag. Luckily, Microsoft also announced that they're opening up the platform to third-party manufacturers: They are working with other companies to develop non-Microsoft headsets, which will be available for as little as $299 and still capable of running the HoloLens' software. This will make the VR experience more affordable, and thus available to more users. So starting in 2017, you too can preview how virtual chairs will look around your kitchen table—just don't try sitting on them.