Microsoft is set to launch a virtual reality headset for the visually impaired in the near future, as part of a $1 billion investment to bring the technology to market.
The virtual reality device, which is currently a prototype, will launch as a beta product and will have to be purchased before it is fully developed, Microsoft Vice President of Product Management Chris McKeon told Axios on Thursday.
McKeon said the company is exploring ways to make the glasses available to consumers.
The glasses have already been tested with the visually challenged.
Microsoft is also planning to launch the headset as an affordable product.
The first version of the headset will cost $350, but the company will charge for additional features such as “facial tracking,” which will allow users to move their eyes in a virtual environment.
Microsoft has previously partnered with other companies to develop the glasses, but McKeons comments indicate the company may be partnering with a company more focused on helping the visually disabled.
Microsoft also announced plans to develop a virtual medical app for the development of a virtual healthcare network, but it is unclear whether the company plans to launch such a product.
Microsoft declined to comment on the Oculus announcement.
McKeeons comments came after Oculus cofounder Palmer Luckey, who is blind, spoke to The New York Times in an interview last month about the development process.
“When we get this stuff to the consumer, I will be very happy to see it,” Luckey said.