Microsoft has officially launched the 2nd generation of its mixed reality headset called the HoloLens 2 at MWC 2019 in Barcelona. The most exciting facet of this new headset is its level of immersion and comfort that clearly blow away anything you can get from any augmented reality headset out there. The $3,500 HoloLens 2 overlays computer images (holograms) on the real world and allows users to interact with the floating images as they move around.
The HoloLens 2 feels like it’s floating on your head
The Microsoft HoloLens 2 looks slightly smaller and weighs a lot less than its predecessor. Microsoft used carbon fiber entirely in the design and this makes it “feel like the device is floating on your head,” said Microsoft’s technical fellow and creator of HoloLens Alex Kipman. The new headset now has additional sports comfort mechanism for easy adjustments such as a small dial stationed at the rear. But what’s more interesting in the new design from a practical standpoint is the new flip-up visor which has made it easy to leave the virtual world by just twisting the glass upward.
Microsoft maintained the 47 pixels for a degree of sight available in the old HoloLens while doubling the field of view, which is quite impressive. The device now includes support for additional gestures that enables users to interact with holograms using their fingers. That means you can play holographic piano or scratch beats in a virtual DJ platform.
Augmented Reality Headset
Additional improvements in the new HoloLens 2 include eye tracking. While you can now use iris recognition to login with Microsoft biometric Windows Hello authentication, your eye movement detection is improved in the applications. The depth sensing is also improved with a new time-of-flight sensor. Also a newly built-in “semantic understanding” works with the artificial intelligence to improve user’s manipulation of holograms.
HoloLens still isn’t ready for any of us to use at home
Microsoft could make efforts to hand us HoloLens 3, the device is still exploring for ways to improve the way we use computer. The company has until now been focused on designing an improved headset to gain reputation in the AR universe. And for now, it’s focused on delivering its mixed reality headsets to the military and companies.
Since the first launch back in 2016, Microsoft has made efforts in demonstrating how HoloLens could be used in the industry, having developed a number of applications for various industries. And based on the company’s announcements during the HoloLens 2 launch, it’s clear the device is being positioned as the industry standard for holographic applications.
The real goal here is to ‘transform humans,” Kipman said while describing the headset as a device to give people superpowers as “the concept that has been in our dreams.”
Hololens 2 Price
HoloLens 2 will improve computing which has cut across every aspect of life, said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “Computing is in everything from connected cars to connected refrigerators, smart surgical tools, and even smart coffee machines.”
Much like the original device, the HoloLens 2 price is at $3,500 and the device will go on sale later this year in the US, UK, China, Japan, Canada, Germany, France, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, and Australia.