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You can’t buy a HoloLens yet, but it’s already won a design award

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The HoloLens is an exceptional design, according to the Red Dot jury, who will award it the Product Design award for 2016 this July. Criteria considered include degree of innovation, formal quality, functionality and ecological compatibility. The award means Microsoft’s vision for augmented reality is noteworthy among design experts.

The Red Dot award is seen as a seal of quality in the product design world. It goes beyond tech: furniture, fashion, and interior design are all included in the award’s scope. This year 41 experts from around the world got together to recognize the designs they thought excelled, submitting around 5,200 products, the most ever, in hopes of recognition. The HoloLens was one of the winners, WinBeta is reporting.

Microsoft will be presented the Red Dot Product Design award on July 4 in Essen, Germany. Winning, to be clear, does not necessarily mean the HoloLens is “better” than the competition: this is not a hierarchical award. Instead, it means the Red Dot jury thought the design was excellent enough to bear the Red Dot seal, and also to appear in the prestigious Red Dot Design yearbook. Scroll through last year’s winners if you want an idea of the sorts of products that win.

The HoloLens is an augmented reality device, which means it projects holograms and computer interfaces over your real-world environment. Its not currently available to consumers, and even developers might have a hard time getting their hands on a dev kit at this point. But it’s the best known augmented reality headset at this point, and has a lot of people imagining possibilities.

The Red Dot Product Design award might not mean much to consumers, but at this point its arguably designers that Microsoft needs to win over, particularly if the HoloLens is going to become a go-to tool among artists and architects. So this little bit of recognition is probably very appreciated.

Other winners include the Bluesmart suitcase, luggage that includes USB chargers for your devices and a GPS tracker so you can always find out where your suitcase is, and Automist Smartscan, a directional fire sprinkler.

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