Yesteday Microsoft announced the next generation of HoloLens, the HoloLens 2. Last night I watched the keynote (via my HoloLens), being a HoloLens user I was very interested to see what Microsoft had in the HoloLens 2.
The field of view has been doubled so you will see twice the holograms in front of you (52 degrees). HoloLens 2 has full hand tracking and eye tracking. So you can control virtual object just as if they were real objects, that means finger control as well as gaze control. This is a big step forward from the original HoloLens which just had finger control. Microsoft say the new HoloLens 2 is much more comfortable than the 1st gen device.
Some of the features will be available with the Windows Mixed Reality headsets, there is a new follow me control where a window will follow you as you move around your environment.
The HoloLens 2 is powered by a Snapdragon 850 processor running “Windows Holographic Operating System” which is probably Windows 10 Core OS with a shell for HoloLens.
From the keynote it is pretty clear that Microsoft are aiming the HoloLens 2 at commercial customers and not at consumers. There is even a HoloLens 2 customisation programme for commercial sales.
Consumers are covered by Windows Mixed Reality headsets which shares much of the codebase of HoloLens, but this device is not aimed at consumers, there isn’t a dev kit available yet.
HoloLens 2 is an extremally interesting device which a combination of many technologies. The HoloLens 2 is expected to ship later this year from around $3500. I can’t wait to give it a try.
Here are the tech specs:
|Optics||See-through holographic lenses (waveguides)|
|Resolution||2k 3:2 light engines|
|Holographic density||>2.5k radiants (light points per radian)|
|Eye-based rendering||Display optimization for 3D eye position|
|Depth||Azure Kinect sensor|
|IMU||Accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer|
|Camera||8MP stills, 1080p30 video|
|Audio & speech|
|Microphone array||5 channels|
|Speakers||Built-in, spatial audio|
|Hand tracking||Two-handed fully articulated model, direct manipulation|
|Eye tracking||Real-time tracking|
|Voice||Command and control on-device, Natural Language with internet connectivity|
|6DoF tracking||World-scale positional tracking|
|Spatial mapping||Real-time environment mesh|
|Mixed reality capture||Mixed hologram and physical environment photos and videos|
|Compute & connectivity|
|SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 Compute Platform|
|HPU||2nd generation custom-built holographic processing unit|
|Fits over glasses|
|Windows Holographic Operating System|
|Dynamics 365 Remote Assist|
|Dynamics 365 Layout|
|Dynamics 365 Guides|
|OneDrive for Business|
Ian Dixon is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional), founder of TheDigitalLifestyle.com tech site and producer of the weekly The Digital Lifestyle Show podcast. Ian has been writing and talking about Windows for over 10 years and has over 20 years in IT as an IT Manager. Ian has thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook and over 4 million views on his YouTube channel.